I am often asked by architects to explain “Microsoft’s strategy” on some piece of software. "What is Microsoft’s strategy on Mainframe computing?" "Are you going to move exclusively to Terminal Server?” "Are you going to port Active Directory to Linux?” In order to answer these questions, you need to understand Microsoft’s business strategy. I am going to let you in on the secret, so that you can start to answer these questions yourself.

Microsoft is different from its other enterprise competitors in three important ways. These principles underlie everything else that we do in the enterprise. If you understand these pillars, you can start to make predictions on what Microsoft is going to do as a company.

First, Microsoft believes in the broad platform. We want to build products that span the entire enterprise application lifecycle. We identify three core participants in this cycle: The software developer designs and builds products to support the enterprise. The IT pro takes applications from the software developer, and deploys and operates solutions to support the business. The third constituency, the business knowledge worker, analyzes information and acts on it. We want to have software assets in each of these areas, and provide capability to tie these three folks together in a rich way.

These buckets are somewhat synthetic, of course. Which bucket does my role, that of an infrastructure architect, fit in? Am I a developer, designing systems, or an IT pro, operating systems? My blog is here on the MSDN side, my colleague Lewis Curtis’ is on the TechNet side. Microsoft wants to make sure that we have assets in all three areas, that the offerings are rich, and that they tie the communities together. DSI is a great example of this. A direct offering to tie together all three communities, and provide rich communication among them.

I’ll let you in to rest of the code in later posts.