LOS ANGELES — Feb. 27, 2008 — Kicking off more than 225 events around the world and joined by more than 4,000 customers and partners, Microsoft Corp.'s Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer today showcased the next generation of infrastructure and application platform products, including Windows Server 2008, Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 and Microsoft SQL Server 2008.
The launch represents a major milestone to help customers on the road to Dynamic IT, Microsoft's initiative to help customers optimize their people, processes and technology, and in turn position IT as a strategic asset for their business. These new enterprise products help customers more efficiently and securely manage their entire infrastructure and move to a virtualized environment while also delivering business intelligence and next-generation Web experiences to boost business results. The theme of the events, "Heroes Happen Here," highlights the outstanding work that IT professionals, developers and partners do every day to create solutions and cutting-edge applications that keep global commerce and industry running.
"IT professionals and developers tell us they spend too much time and money managing existing systems and not enough investing in new capabilities that create strategic advantage," Ballmer said. "That feedback is at the core of the innovations in this new wave of products. Already, the overwhelming response from thousands of IT professionals and developers around the world is that this is the most secure enterprise platform we have ever delivered, and that it will simplify management and enable them to focus more on driving their businesses forward."
Big Benefits for Early Adopters
Researchers at consulting agency Capgemini looked at companies and institutions in the financial services, education, retail and high-technology industries using Windows Server 2008 in a mix of geographic regions. They found that the new operating system quickly adds value to IT operations through enhancements to management, security and reliability. On average, deployment duration was reduced by up to 60 percent and IT reduced costs by up to $124,000 per year. Cost reductions resulted from a wide range of areas, including the recovery of five IT staff hours per server and 91 percent less downtime. A white paper detailing usage scenarios and providing more data on the impact of deploying Windows Server 2008 is available at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/us/product-information.aspx.
Already IT professionals and developers around the world are using Windows Server 2008, Visual Studio 2008 and test versions of SQL Server 2008 to implement more secure platforms and Web applications while reducing costs and speeding development.
With the introduction of Windows Server 2008, leading global communications provider Verizon Business will deliver this next-generation platform to its managed hosting customers worldwide, enabling them to achieve greater reliability, performance and control over their IT infrastructure. In addition, Microsoft's advanced Windows Deployment Services suite will allow Verizon Business to increase the speed of deployments and simplify management.
"This next-generation technology means a great deal to our enterprise customers," said Michael Marcellin, vice president of product marketing at Verizon Business. "Through our long-standing relationship with Microsoft and as an early adopter of this technology, we are poised to continue to deliver innovative solutions to customers around the globe that will help them harness the power of the Internet."
Go Daddy, the largest paid, shared Web hosting provider in North America, with 27 million domain names under management, is incorporating the new Windows Server 2008 with Internet Information Services 7.0 (IIS7) software into its Windows hosting product line. In its testing, Go Daddy has seen a 300 percent to 400 percent increase in server performance using the new technology. The performance gains will allow Go Daddy to run a more efficient and effective service for its shared hosting customers.
"We are excited to offer this technology to our customers," said Bob Parsons, CEO and founder of Go Daddy. "With more than 5 million customers around the globe, Go Daddy prides itself on using cutting-edge technology that will help enhance Web site performance and provide our customers with a solid foundation for their IT needs."
At Fidelity National Real Estate Solutions, the combination of Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and Visual Studio 2008 enabled the creation of a cutting-edge Web site that provides near-instant access to real estate and neighborhood information about listings for sale, home values, schools and much more. The site operates significantly faster than was previously possible and was developed at a much lower cost.
"Not only is the new Web site visually cool — serving up customized content, 3-D aerial views and animations 10 times faster than was possible with older technologies — but it also was created for approximately $1.4 million less than it would have cost using other development tools," said Marty Frame, senior vice president and general manager, Cyberhomes, Fidelity National Real Estate Solutions. "And, most important, visitors spend an average of 30 minutes on the site per visit, four times the typical average for competitors' sites."
These companies are just a sampling of the more than 3 million customers that participated in early feedback programs or as beta testers during product development.
The performance improvements and enterprise-class features of SQL Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 have resulted in record-breaking results. Today Microsoft disclosed new world-record performance results on TPC-E and SAP Sales and Distribution (SD) Standard Application 3-tier benchmarks running on four-socket industry-standard blade servers.** Microsoft also published breakthrough performance benchmarks for several customer scenarios, including leading results on Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Siemens Teamcenter and Camstar Manufacturing Execution Systems.
Microsoft also announced that Microsoft Windows Server 2008 with .NET Framework 3.5 delivers faster throughput than IBM WebSphere 6.1 on Red Hat Linux as shown through two new benchmark tests measuring scalability and performance in mission-critical enterprise scenarios. The sample application shows 117 percent better throughput of Windows Server using the IBM-designed Trade 6.1 benchmark; and Sun Microsystems' WSTest Web services benchmark demonstrates 94 percent better throughput on Windows Server when processing Web Service requests. More information on the results is available at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/events/HHHlaunch/docs/BenchmarkFS.doc.
Partners See Opportunity
Microsoft has worked with more than 1,000 industry partners to help plan, build, test and deploy leading-edge solutions by providing early access to code, training and testing, and certification support. Hundreds of independent software vendors have demonstrated their support with the development of a wide variety of business applications for industries that include retail, accounting, commerce, engineering, financial services, healthcare, supply chain and more. In a related announcement, Microsoft detailed extensive investments in programs and tools for software and hardware partners. More information on the announcement is available at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2008/feb08/02-26ISVWS08PR.mspx. A full list of vendors offering applications certified for Windows Server 2008 or pledging to provide support for their applications on Windows Server 2008 can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/events/hhhlaunch/docs/PartnerWS08FS.doc.
Further demonstrating support for the new products, more than 40 companies are making announcements today and more than 80 partners are participating in launch events around the world, including platinum sponsors Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD), CA, Cisco Systems Inc., Citrix Systems Inc., Dell Inc., Fujitsu, Hitachi, HP, Intel Corporation, Quest Software Inc., SAP AG and Unisys Corp. Highlighting the opportunity for industry partners, a 2007 IDC study* predicts that for every $1 Microsoft earns from Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 this year in the U.S., the ecosystem beyond Microsoft — software and hardware vendors that support or incorporate the products — will reap about $18 in revenue. In 2008, this ecosystem is predicted to sell more than $120 billion in products and services revolving around Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008.
Product Availability and Information
Windows Server 2008, including a beta version of the Hyper-V virtualization technology, and Visual Studio 2008 are available today. The feature-complete, February community technology preview of SQL Server 2008 is also available, with general availability expected in the third quarter of 2008.
Later this year Microsoft will release the Windows Essential Server Solutions family of products for small and midsize companies built on Windows Server 2008 and the newest Microsoft server technologies and services: Windows Small Business Server 2008 and Windows Essential Business Server 2008. Windows HPC Server 2008, the successor to Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003, is on track for availability in the second half of 2008 and is designed to increase productivity, scalability and manageability for high-performance computing scenarios. In addition, Windows Storage Server 2008, the next-generation storage solution based on Windows Server 2008, will be available by the end of the year.
Additional information on the launch of Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and Visual Studio 2008 is available in the virtual pressroom at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/events/HHHlaunch/default.mspx.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
* IDC white paper sponsored by Microsoft, "The Economic Impact of Microsoft's Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 in the U.S.," Doc. 5052007, May 2007.
** Certification Number 2008003: SAP SD standard SAP ERP 6.0 (2005) application benchmark in 3-Tier configuration certified on 02/26/08 with Number of benchmark users & comp.: 34,000 SD (Sales & Distribution) with an average dialog response time: 1.99 seconds running Windows Server 2008 Enterprise Edition (64-Bit) and SQL Server 2008 (64-bit) on RDBMS database server. Hardware configuration of RDBMS server: HP ProLiant BL680c G5, 4 socket/16 core/16 thread Quad-Core Intel Xeon E7340 / 2.40GHz, 64GB RAM. For more details, see http://www.sap.com/benchmark.