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Yay! Another architectural diagram! This is a picture of the near-term roadmap for Microsoft's middleware platform, known as AppFabric. There are two different AppFabrics that currently don't have a whole lot in common: A version for Windows Server and a version for Azure. As this slide indicates, the AppFabric teams are releasing between two and three drops per year of AppFabric technologies for both the server and the cloud. At TechEd this week, Microsoft delivered a May Community Technology Preview of AppFabric for Azure, and said there'd be a June CTP coming, as well. These two CTPs deliver some of the AppFabric enhancements Microsoft outlined at the Professional Developers Conference in the fall of 2010.
"Hybrid" is becoming an increasingly used word inside Microsoft, in terms of how it expects its users to develop and deploy applications, going forward. Some pieces of the customers' apps will remain on premises, while other pieces can and will be deployed in the cloud. This slide, while specific to Coca Cola, provides a good example of what hybrid really means, in my opinion. It also highlights the fact that users will be mixing and matching not just Microsoft technologies, but also some third-party line-of-business apps (like SAP, in this case), when deploying hybrid solutions.
In a session outlining Microsoft's evolving embedded strategy, I found this slide that puts three of Microsoft's video/TV platforms all together (something that doesn't happen very often). Microsoft moved its embedded division under its Server and Tools organization during the past few months, and has begun emphasizing the need to manage the growing web of Windows-embedded platforms out there, as a result. When you hear Microsoft execs mention "Connected Media Devices," what they really seem to mean are set-top boxes, DVRs and TVs. Microsoft is licensing various embedded versions of Windows to OEMs who want to put Windows inside these devices, while it also is licensing MediaRoom, its IPTV solution, to broadcasters worldwide.