Ziff Davis Internet
News & Resources for the IT Reseller
NewsReviewsTech AnalysisCommentarySecurityLinux/Unix
My Account |  

Microsoft Devising Tech Support Program To Battle Linux
By Jacqueline Emigh, Ziff Davis Internet

NEW YORK—Microsoft Corp. is quietly working on a new initiative, internally code-named Mission Critical Microsoft, to help fight the rising specter of Linux running on enterprise mainframes.


“Mission Critical Microsoft is an internal initiative, but it will probably result in a new program announcement from Microsoft within the next year,” Paul Corriveau, group product manager for Windows Servers, told eWEEK.com at the IBM SHARE conference here.

The resulting program will replace Microsoft’s existing tech support and maintenance offering in the data center space, according to Corriveau. Microsoft’s existing partner program for data center implementations will be impacted, too.

“Microsoft wants to beat Linux to the high end. In fact, I’d say that we already have,” Corriveau said.

Under the current Mission Critical Microsoft initiative, Microsoft is “realigning its resources” in areas such as tech support, maintenance and marketing to better meet the needs of enterprise data center managers, who are typically more accustomed to working with mainframes than PC servers.

PointerClick here to read about Microsoft’s latest update to its mainframe connectivity server.

Microsoft’s overriding plan is to focus on “solutions” such as enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management or business intelligence, rather than on “applications,” he said.

Also under the upcoming program, Microsoft will figure in “supportability requirements” when planning deployments. “We’re going to start offering our customers SLAs [service-level agreements], too. This is something they’ve been requesting from us for a long time,” he added.

Corriveau didn’t discount the possibility that pricing for data center services might rise as well.

eWEEK.com Special Report: Enterprise Wars: Linux vs. Windows

As the plan moves ahead, Microsoft will continue to use long-time systems integrator partners such as IBM Global Services, Accenture Ltd., Unisys Corp. and Hewlett-Packard Co. to deploy and maintain its top-end software. “But we’ll be realigning our efforts there, too, and we might be adding some more partners,” Corriveau said.

Microsoft didn’t overtly promote Mission Critical Microsoft at SHARE, a week-long conference traditionally geared toward enterprise mainframe administrators. But Windows and Linux were both highly visible at the week-long show, which draws a large crowd of IT professionals, especially systems administrators in New York’s financial community.

SHARE attendees at the show reacted positively when they heard about the new initiative.

“Very good!” said Robert Dio, a systems administrator from Delta Dental Plan. “If solutions are going to be more important now, that means Microsoft has been listening to what we’ve been telling them. When we have a problem, we want a solution, not an application.”

Another user, a security manager for an enterprise specializing in printing services for banks, pointed out that data center managers often hold perspectives quite different from those of the departmental Windows administrators who traditionally handle Windows servers. “A lot of mainframe administrators have the concept that PC servers aren’t yet ready for primetime,” said the user, who requested anonymity.

He pointed to several factors that could be responsible for this “data center mindset,” including different schooling for data center managers, different support programs for mainframes vs. PC servers, the need for mission critical applications to stay up and running all the time, and the fact that many PC servers have been introduced by staff outside the data center.

“At many companies, the ‘glass house’ is now broken. You might see [PC servers] in the data center, but you might find them everywhere else, too, sometimes outside the firewall,” he added.

But he also said he has installed Windows XP SP2 on two of his own laptops without any problems so far, and he gave credit to Microsoft for making recent strides on the security side. “Actually, Linux is more vulnerable than Windows to worms,” he contended.

On Wednesday of this week, SHARE held “Microsoft Day.” Other Windows-oriented sessions went on throughout the week, including at least two seminars delivered by IBM. Other sessions at SHARE covered Linux, open source and MVS mainframe operating environments.

PointerCheck out eWEEK.com’s Windows Center at http://windows.eweek.com for Microsoft and Windows news, views and analysis.

horizontal rule

Be sure to add our eWEEK.com Windows news feed to your RSS newsreader or My Yahoo page



Free Hands-On Training Lab
Find out how key features of SBS 2003 can help you open up a new line of revenue. Register now >>

SBS 2003 Sales Reference Card
This handy reference card contains features at a glance, sales objection handling, pricing guidelines & more. Get it now >>

Microsoft Empower for ISVs rewards your big idea with big benefits and support.
Access key development tools at a low cost to help you develop that idea into an innovative application. Learn more >>

Changing Business for the Better: A Practical Guide to BPM

This paper provides an overview of the benefits of BPM technologies and identifies the characteristics of BPM solutions that lead to successful BPM process-centric integration projects.

Download this free white paper to learn more!

>> brought to you by IBM

Attention Microsoft Solution Providers!

Want to gain a competitive edge? Try Microsoft Watch – FREE!

Each week you receive:
  • Microsoft News and Insider Information
  • Expert Analysis
  • Code Names of Upcoming MS Products
  • Year-Ahead Calendar, updated monthly

    Click Here to sign up now for your FREE 14 Day Trial to Microsoft Watch.
  • Add up to $1,200 of value with the new BONUS PACKS.
  • HP PartnerONE: The key to increasing your margins.
  • HP Compaq nc6129 Business Notebook. $1149 Smart Buy
  • HP xw8200 workstation. Smart Buy price $1549.
  • ProLiant DL360G4p server: HP Smart Buy price $1647
  • Microsoft files new anti-piracy lawsuits. Learn more.
  • New offers with Windows Genuine Advantage.

    •Catalog Publishing
    •Dealer Management
    •Order Configuration
    •Price Management
    •Sales Management

    View All >

    Search the jobs you want & get the info you need – post your resume here today!

    Powered by Dice
    White Boxes
    MS vs. IBM
    Linux in the Channel
    Stay in the Zone
    Put The Channel Insider on your desktop.
    Subscribe to The Channel Insider: Channel News, Reviews, Resources and more.

    Make your selections below:

    Contract Watch

    The Channel Insider Update

    Preferred e-mail format:

    Enter your e-mail:

    view all newsletters >>
    Channel Insider Quick Links
    Ziff Davis Footer Logo