Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Microsoft 2008: From Desktop to Data Center

Year In Review. Microsoft had a pretty good year, despite the fourth quarter's global economic crisis.

Sure, Apple made gains in Mac market share and the iPhone 3G is wooing away developers. Google released a Web browser and mobile operating system, while gaining more search share.

But these nuisances aside, and despite sluggish enterprise Windows Vista adoption, Microsoft stormed the server and data center and continued to post strong quarterly earnings. Clouds may loom over 2009, but this was a year of sunshine. I present to you Microsoft 2008, in chronological order. If there is some important event you think should be on the list, please add it in comments or send to me by e-mail.

* Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates gives his last Consumer Electronics Show keynote, and it is surprisingly tepid. His "last day" video is more inspiring.

* Microsoft claims 100 million copies of Vista sold—that should have been stated as shipped and not necessarily deployed. Microsoft announces the number at CES, where Vista marketing is to be find nowhere.

* Fast Search & Transfer becomes Microsoft's first acquisition of the new year.

* The first of Microsoft's corporate presidents, Jeff Raikes, announces his departure. He kicks off a year rife with executive exits.

* CDW survey shows enterprises modestly warming to Vista, but separately deploying Office 2007.

* The European Union launches two new Microsoft anti-trust investigations.

* Microsoft begins engaging developers about Internet Explorer 8 standards compliance. The DOCTYPE switch is ill-received.

* Microsoft's fiscal 2008 second-quarter results soar: $16.37 billion revenue, a 30 percent year-over-year increase. Operating income surges 87 percent to $6.48 billion, or 50 cents per share.

* Microsoft makes an unsolicited, $44.6 billion for Yahoo. Microsoft's main objective is to gain search share against Google, but the deal is fraught with integration risk because of product overlap.

* AOL pulls the plug on Netscape, effectively burying the last carcass of the browser wars with Microsoft.

* Former Disney CIO Tony Scott assumes a similar role at Microsoft.

* Microsoft acquires Danger, mobile software and services provider for the T-Mobile Sidekick.

* Yahoo's failure to embrace Microsoft's unsolicited takeover starts rumors of a proxy fight.

* Microsoft announces so-called "interoperability principles" that derive from actions already mandated by its 2004 European adverse anti-trust ruling.

* Microsoft launches 2008 versions of SQL Server, Visual Studio and Windows Server, but the products are incomplete. SQL Server is a no-show and Hyper-V is delayed. Still, 3,000 people attend the product launch, Microsoft's most important of the year.

* The judge overseeing the Windows Vista Capable lawsuit unseals e-mails that suggest Microsoft colluded with Intel to lower graphic chips standards for Windows Vista.


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