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Q&A: Microsoft hybrid-cloud push promises benefits for IT, end users, pocketbook

Tim Greene | June 6, 2013
Microsoft's chief hybrid-cloud exec opens up about what it can mean for businesses.

We are also doing work here at Microsoft to make it easier for customers to embrace these updates and to deploy them. I think what we demonstrated in terms of the live migration Windows Server 2012 and R2 shows how you can migrate or upgrade from one version of Windows to another version of Windows with zero downtime because it's a live migration. I think those kind of scenarios are things you will see more and more from us.

We definitely take on a responsibility from an engineering perspective to do all that we can to enable a zero downtime upgrade or migration from one version of Windows to the next.

You give the one example of zero downtime is that coming across the board to all the platforms that were talked about?
No. We were able to do that from an infrastructure standpoint as you think about Windows as a guest in a virtualized environment. Now the application that is running inside of that guest is different. Those applications will have their own upgrade processes and cadences and those kinds of things.

But in terms of just the raw operating system we're going to do a lot from the engineering perspective to make sure that we simplify and deliver great compatibility so that organizations won't feel like they have to test for two months or six months before they deploy a new operating system from Microsoft. They can embrace these updates and get them deployed quickly.

Initially you pointed out that iterations are coming faster, and that's a good thing. Then you took pains just now to point out that you've already been doing it pretty fast anyway. So which is better?
We are a little bit faster than we have been. The point I make on that is I think many organizations believe we're on a three-year release cadence with Windows. And we actually have been much faster than a three-year cadence.

What do you offer to corporate application developers?
A lot of what we talked about this morning and what we talked about this morning is Visual Studio 2013 really centered up on increasing or decreasing and improving the application development life cycle. There's a lot of conversation in the industry about ALM, application life-cycle management, and what that really comes down to is how fast can a development organization build, deploy, learn, build deploy learn and it really becomes this circle and it becomes this continuous improvement process.

A lot of what we announced was around improving the collaboration, improving the ability to see within the code the change history, who made the changes, what impact that change is going to have in the rest of the system and really an individual developer understanding the work that he or she is doing in the context of the broader project with the ability to do real-time collaboration with his or her peers.


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