The one killer question I heard at Microsoft Ignite

24 Feb 2017

Image of Gary Microsoft Ignite over on the Gold Coast is a bumper fun-filled part-week of technical goodness. Technical gurus from the field and from Microsoft presented to an audience of attentive individuals. An audience whose day job is usually about getting the technology to work, keeping it working and migrating it all to the cloud, apparently.

DDLS was again an exhibitor at Ignite, this year strategically positioned in the expo hall next to the food. We invest in being there as it gives us the opportunity to speak to a lot of people, well over 500 in fact. It is invaluable to talk to clients and potential clients alike about what they are and will be doing with Microsoft technology. Are businesses really going to the cloud and building line of business applications using drag-and-drop and a few curly brackets? The answer to that is a massive yes. But not everyone. Not yet. We quizzed people at our stand, the majority indicating that training in Azure was high on their to-do list for the next twelve months. I suspect we are some way from the tipping point of on-premise versus cloud, but from an intent to do so, the direction seems clear.

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We did run a promotion for anyone wanting a head start in Azure at Ignite and if you are interested, we can extend the same offer to you.

I grabbed a picture of two attendees, one with a legacy 2006 backpack, one with a 2017 cloud-based backpack, both bags delivering the same value but technical generations apart.


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A tweet of the backpacks started a conversation at the stand, and out of the conversation came the killer question:

"Do Microsoft not do Windows Server products in a box anymore?"

Someone else chimed in that not everyone "is going to Azure". Suddenly we had a debate as a third person reminded us that "not everyone can go to the cloud".

Whilst every vendor is busy reinforcing their cloud message, telling the story of digital disruption, not everyone is or can be on board.

You never see a boxed product any more at a conference, or see the lights go up on a stage full of servers ahead of a demo of some new feature.

But don't be fooled, Microsoft still has a robust server business, be that file and print or messaging and collaboration. Office 365 and Azure were popular courses last year, but Server 201x was still ahead, with PowerShell number one. For Azure to come from nowhere to be a top two course clearly shows that cloud is no longer an oddity, but business as usual.


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How long before Server Operating Systems are as hard to find as a TV channel without a cooking show on it? I'll misquote Sir Terry Pratchett's misquote again: "We live in interesting times".

Gary Duffield

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"Pssst, wanna buy a copy of an on-premise operating system?"