Why Microsoft Can't Figure Out What's Next

To be fair, Microsoft has said that in the future, as the company updates BPOS with 2010 capabilities, Office Web Apps will be part of the BPOS package. But no date has been set.

Unrealized virtualization potential
There's an argument to made that Microsoft shouldn't waste its time on browser-based apps. Why not go hell-for-leather after desktop virtualization as an alternative to the tired old one-PC, one-license slog?

After all, Microsoft has a strong partnership with Citrix. Together they have long experience delivering Terminal Services solutions and they continue to collaborate on the VDI front. Citrix was also first to announce -- ahead of VMware -- a client hypervisor that will make virtual desktop machines portable so that users can compute when disconnected from the network.

So what's the problem? For one thing, Microsoft doesn't give you a break on VDI pricing. Virtual desktop licenses cost the same as physical desktop licenses, which puts a damper on the desktop virtualization value proposition. Plus, the client hypervisor Citrix is working on probably won't be in production until 2011.

Once, Microsoft at least put on a good show of knowing where it was going. But now, its actions suggest that the company is in denial that the future will ever come.

This article, "Microsoft's embarrassing problem with the future" originally appeared at InfoWorld.com. Read more of Eric Knorr's Modernizing IT blog and get a digest of the key stories each day in the InfoWorld Daily newsletter and on your mobile device at infoworldmobile.com.

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