Saturday, March 06, 2021
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Mergers & Acquistions, Software and SaaS

Microsoft is not good at letting acquired companies run on their own, nor have they been very successful in the Internet and advertising sector.  The Yahoo and Microsoft cultures are quite different.  One wonders what the outcome might be, particularly since many of the skilled technical people Microsoft wants to retain may be newly minted millionaires.  M&A has been breaking out all over, with the big guys (IBM, Oracle, and Sun) all playing significant roles.  Expect more.

MS rolls out Windows 8 Server Software.  Next month will mark the launch of Microsoft’s next round of Windows Server 8/Visual Studio 8/SQL Server 8.  They are promising lots of attractive upgrades and expecting many customers to move up the feeding chain quickly.  Protecting their Windows servers is a very important activity for Microsoft because lots of companies now routinely buy Linux for lots of servers, deeming it cheap and reliable – Microsoft has to counter with lots of features – and as customers move to SaaS – see below – they are likely to be running on Linux servers without even knowing that.  When your environment is a web browser you don’t much care what operating system your server is running – only that it works.

SaaS: Software as a Service

I think this is the breakout year.  Customers of every  size have realized that some applications aren’t worth supporting in-house.  Some of them are commodity applications like email; others are applications that don’t get used often enough by enough people to be bothered having the in-house skills to implement and manage.  In both cases, a reliable SaaS vendor with the right software can be a good alternative.  He should only be slightly less expensive, but he should free up skilled staff for other work – or let smaller companies avoid needing skilled staff at all.

Open Everywhere 

Everyone has been embracing open software and open standards, from IBM to Sun to even Microsoft.  Microsoft had a field day recently, releasing 30,000+ pages of specifications and APIs for its volume products to its web sites to aid developers in creating interoperability to its products.  It also promised to be much open in every way.  You can read the article on my blog , noting that Microsoft seems to have placed  quite a bit of information outside of the protection of trade secrets, but, of course, retains the IP protection for any patents on the code.

The Web 2.0 Evolution

We continue to see lots of people vie to be the next YouTube or FaceBook, including some who bravely hope to be the FaceBook for the enterprise.  Many of these are wielding applications in office productivity, collaboration, project management, and other areas where current tools are deemed vulnerable.  Microsoft Office (with more than 400 million users) is not in danger of disappearing – it will probably be around for at least 100 years – but it is beginning to be nibbled around the edges by a dozen competitors, giving customers the perception that there are other options.  Some of them will take it, especially the increasing variety of versions of Open Office.

And speaking of the Web 2.0 evolution.... more>  

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