IT may sound like yet another election pitch, but it’s really about business. Microsoft managing director Ross Peat says the country needs to make steep productivity improvements and he believes his company can lead the way.
“My hope is that we can get New Zealand back in the top ten OECD countries,” he announced at TechEd 2005.
Peat says the fact the event sold out is reflective of the interest in the company’s wave of new products and a real sense of energy in the industry.
For Iain McDonald, keynote speaker at Microsoft’s TechEd conference earlier this week, the biggest benefit of the event is the chance to address his company’s core constituency.
“It gives the delegates an insight into the future and they can get an idea of things to come that will hopefully peak their interest. This is a great time to be in the Microsoft camp with all the impressive things being released,” he says.
McDonald, director of the Windows Server Group, describes Microsoft as being back on the front foot with products like SQL Server, Visual Studio and Vista and says he hopes the strategy of a major/minor release cycle will pay dividends.
“In two or three years’ time people will see the value of the non-disruptive release model. The computer industry has gone through a bit of a downturn in recent years but Microsoft thinks the shine is coming back.”
Security is high on the agenda at Microsoft and McDonald says his company is committed to making sure users can be confident, starting with the inclusion of phishing filters into the beta version of Vista. That will then extend to the consumer level in order to boost security on the internet.
And, says McDonald, developers using Visual Studio 2005 have the ability to test the security of their applications by using the same code analysis tools used internally at Microsoft.
“We want to make it easier for developers to create and ensure software testing becomes a more integrated part of development.”
With the increasing pervasiveness of mobile devices Microsoft is looking into intelligent distributed storage through defining ways to secure boundaries and the inclusion of network access protection.
“You have to have better ways of managing systems such as smartphones — it’s policy not topology that defines the edge,” says McDonald.