Microsoft's 2008 conference dance card is starting to fill in. Here's a list of what's on my Microsoft-conference radar screen so far. My question, going into 2008, is how, when and if Microsoft will share more about its Windows futures plans with developers, partners and customers.
All About Microsoft
Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley's blog covers the products, people and strategies that make Microsoft tick.
Mary Jo Foley
Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).
Microsoft didn't release only a refreshed test build of Windows Vista Service Pack (SP) 1 this week. It also quietly posted an updated test build of Windows Server 2008.
There's a new book due out next week that should be of interest to anyone who is curious about what makes bloggers and blogging tick. It's called Blogging Heroes: Interviews with 30 of the World's Top Bloggers.
On November 14, Microsoft released the 2.0 release of its Windows Live OneCare PC security/health service, as well as the 2008 version of its Office Accounting suite for small businesses.
On November 14, Microsoft released a new test build of Windows Vista Service Pack 1 -- designated the SP1 Release Candiate (RC) Preview -- to a slightly expanded group of 15,000 pre-selected testers. Still no update on when Microsoft plans to make an SP1 test build available more broadly via MSDN or other channels.
Microsoft is expanding its Office 20007 "pay-as-you-go" program into five more countries before the end of the year. Under the plan, users will have the option of "renting" Office 2007 Professional for a three or six month period and paying a monthly subscription fee to do so.
Microsoft learned some hard lessons with Windows Vista that it already is applying to Windows 7. So says Mike Nash, Corporate Vice President of Windows Product Management, who is chatting this week with press and bloggers about the state of Vista, just about a year after the company released the product to manufacturing.
The OpenDocument Foundation -- a group whose name and charter would lead one to believe that it was backing the OpenDocument Format (ODF), but which ended up backing a different document format instead -- has closed its doors. Some think the group's passing won't have an impact on Microsoft's campaign to standardize OOXML. I beg to differ.
Forrester Research has issued a new study in which it predicts that at least one-third of enterprises will begin to deploy Windows Vista enterprise-wide by mid-2008. Microsoft is pulling out all the stops -- at least in terms of making corporate deployment tools available -- to get Vista into more business users' hands.
A Tablet stylus and/or a user's finger aren't the be-all and end-all when it comes to future data-input methods in which Microsoft is investing. There's also InkSeine, LucidTouch and Soap.