Jim Shepherd, an analyst at AMR Research, takes Microsoft's latest portrayal of its Project Greenplan for business solutions and points out the pluses:
This change is probably good news for MBS customers and partners. For customers, it means that they can begin to capitalize on the improvements without having to make any major migration efforts, and it should reassure them that MBS is still committed to the existing product lines. Microsoft resellers have been getting very nervous, as information began to come out about Project Green that buyers would simply decide to wait rather than buy the old generation product. This new positioning clearly sends the message that all of the products will progress to next-generation capabilities and there is no reason to wait.
ISVs are the lifeline for MBS so if this announcement gives them this kind of assurance then yes it is a good thing.
But can Microsoft afford totake its foot off thepedaland earmark 2008 or beyond for delivery of its next-generation application? And even then will it have the capabilities mid-market businesses won't find from other software giants eyeing this space? I wouldn't say it's a long shot. Microsoft's slow but steady approach seems to have worked out for the company in the past, and among its strengths, the ability for it to withstand successive quarterly losses with MBS can keep it on life support for years to come. Only time will tell.
Microsoft had its annual Convergence conference this week in San Diego where the company reset expectations of Project Green.