Welcome!

Java IoT Authors: Peter Silva, Elizabeth White, SmartBear Blog, Pat Romanski, Dana Gardner

Related Topics: Microsoft Cloud, @DevOpsSummit

Microsoft Cloud: Blog Feed Post

Why Shutting Down TechNet Is Not a Problem for IT Pros

IT pros want TechNet back. Everybody has the right to complain and sign a petition...

While reading the news yesterday I stumbled upon the following article in Puget Sound Business Journal - Why is Microsoft alienating its biggest customers? IT pros want TechNet back. Everybody has the right to complain and sign a petition but more important is to understand the message Microsoft sends. Some think of it as "Microsoft doesn't care about IT Pros anymore", and they may be right; but the message sounds to me more like "Hey, IT Pros - the world is changing!" Although I think Microsoft could be a little bit more responsive to the complaints, I don't think IT Pros should be so worried. Here is why.

Change-same

The Problem With The Downloads
While $349 annually for the whole collection of Microsoft software is a very attractive price I think free software is a better option. Although slow, Microsoft showed its commitment to change in the last few years. Although I don't think that Microsoft will ever release Windows (client or server) under Apache license they will continue to provide Beta versions for evaluation for free.

Next, the price Microsoft charges for software will continue to get lower. Just compare how much you paid for Windows 7 license and how much you paid for Windows 8 license - quite significant difference. I do expect the same to happen to other products that are in the consumer category (Office at least).

Last, if you still insist to have unlimited downloads of everything Microsoft then you can subscribe for MSDN. Yes, it is a few hundred dollars more annually but you also get more value from it and… wait! you can now claim yourself as a developer!

The Problem With The Installations
I will admit that I do install software for evaluation quite often. And I have to admit that I hate it! Installing and configuring of software is a huge waste of time if your end goal is to see whether it will work or not. I would rather click a button and have everything I need running in few minutes without the need to download/install/configure. And this is one of the promises of the cloud - you can get the software you need up and running in minutes, do your testing and move on. Well, it may cost few bucks to run it for a day but it is not such a big deal. And, who knows - Microsoft may decide to offer free compute time for evaluation purposes.

The Problem With The IT Pros
The biggest problem I think though is the IT Pros themselves. They still look at their jobs and responsibilities as the people who install software. It is time for IT Pros to understand that in is near the day when software will install the software, and they need to think how to position themselves in this environment. The best option for them is to work closely with the Business Groups and provide the IT services needed to support the business or to transition to a DevOps role that again will provide value for the business.

It is clear that Microsoft understands that the world is changing and the IT as it used to be is nearing its end. It is time also for the IT Pros to understand that just installing software is not a value proposition in the enterprise.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Toddy Mladenov

Toddy Mladenov has more than 15 years experience in software development and technology consulting at companies like Microsoft, SAP and 3Com. Currently he is a CTO of Agitare Technologies, Inc. - a boutique consulting company that specializes in Cloud Computing and Big Data Solutions. Before Agitare Tech Toddy spent few years with PaaS startup Apprenda and more than six years working on Microsft's cloud computing platform Windows Azure, Windows Client and MSN/Windows Live. During his career at Microsoft he managed different aspects of the software development process for Windows Azure and Windows Services. He also evangelized Microsoft cloud services among open source communities like PHP and Java. In the past he developed enterprise software for German's software giant SAP and several startups in Europe, and managed the technical sales for 3Com in the Balkan region.

With his broad industry experience, international background and end-user point of view Toddy has an unique approach towards technology. He believes that technology should be develop to improve people's lives and is eager to share his knowledge in topics like cloud computing, mobile and web development.

Comments (9) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
toddysm 08/08/13 12:53:00 AM EDT

@Codi: I think we are having much more detailed conversation on your blog.

I think lot of the points are addressed there or on my blog and I don't want to repeat those again and again.

On the self installing software point by pcarlpatrick I hear you that this has been promise since the 70s but 10 years ago I had to install Linux, then Java, then DB2 then WebSphere and now I can get all those + the LB and the FW configured with a click of a button. I personally like this better then spending hours or days using the traditional approach.

natv 08/07/13 08:18:00 PM EDT

Your entire article assumes that only 'developers' made use of TechNet.

I'm a SysAdmin, and I've built labs, practiced for Microsoft certifications, etc. all from virtual machines I built from TechNet software.

Microsoft's new "free" is an evaluation copy that expires after 180 days. That may seem like a long time, but I do go back to older labs I have as virtual machines when needed (to test something or try to replicate something in production).

Having an expiration date discourages me from taking the time to install and configure a lab environment in the first place. And no I don't want to just use Azure instead, which is the only reason Microsoft is closing TechNet.

Between Windows 8 (a nightmare to support end-users who can't figure out how to use it) and closing TechNet, it just feels Microsoft is stabbing their IT fans in the back.

zumarek 08/07/13 05:19:00 PM EDT

When Microsoft will be capable to install or configure their own apps sure we will just click to see if it works ... for now we are better off doing it ourselves ...
And sure for some attitude of Microsoft made it this way and you "vill" like it ! This is past ... in my opinion this is make it or break it time for Microsoft ... don't alienate your core supporters or suddenly alternatives will start to pop up ...

pcarlpatrick 08/07/13 05:05:00 PM EDT

I just read the part about IT Pro's and software installing itself. If you work with software every day your view is that is a long way off. I have several hundred Win 7, Server 2003, Server 2008r2, Server 2012 issues. Not to mention MS SQL, Microsoft Dynamics, Adobe, Mac X and on and on and on.

Anyone who works with software understands that if vendor or programmer (insert name) can't get their software to update correctly would know someday software may install, update and manage itself but not any day soon.

Vendors and Pundits have been saying this type of stuff since the 70s and it's worse today that ever and way way more complex.

LVNeptune 08/07/13 05:00:00 PM EDT

We must have differing opinions on "A few hundred dollars" The closest thing we are getting that has similar products is $6,119.00 for the first year.

pcarlpatrick 08/07/13 04:51:00 PM EDT

The TechNet account is not for free software, it is for specific test software that may be needed for a new implementation or software that is an older version that you need for a specific use move, debugging, testing of an older app.

It is part of my Microsoft tool kit. I use various version to test all types of issues Maybe someone has a old version that I am upgrading, and I don't have the old version, maybe I am testing something on several versions.

It is also for training and working on new design and ensuring the new works with the old. Many of these test cases last longer than an evaluation period. Right now that is going on with my migration to Windows 2012. I have tried the evaluation versions and guess what they expired. I had some issues, put the implementation on hold for new iron and san, many times it last longer.

I could go on and give many specific examples. The point is my TechNet sub allows me to react quickly, put projects on hold debut issues on older apps quickly.

Non of these uses and needs are addresses by Microsoft. We will never keep its schedule but rather our business sets and resets the schedule.

I am totally put out by this self serving decision and Microsoft putting it to me for no reason.

Carl Patrick

steve tretakis 08/07/13 04:41:00 PM EDT

Really? Build an multi-forest AD in the cloud to test and evaluate changes? or rebuild every 180 days in my internal VM farm? In my 20 yrs of being in IT and as an MCT, I have no clue as to what MS thought they would achieve by kicking all of their supporters in their collective B.....

SusanB 08/07/13 04:30:00 PM EDT

"Microsoft may decide to offer free compute time for evaluation purposes"

Exactly what I am asking for as a shareholder and what they should have been doing. Instead of shutting down technet, give ITpros the same offer that is provided on MSDN and give a credit for time on Azure.

Once there the ITpros will see there are virtual machines to deploy. BUT...and here's the but... please do realize and recognize that we are moving from legacy systems to new systems.

So please do not throw out the bath water and the baby and the bath tub by throwing out this access to legacy systems and testing in our own labs and in our own means.

I cannot recreate by existing server in virtual labs. I cannot test out migration strategies to the cloud with 90 day evals. A virtual lab of the product I'm running does not recreate the AD structure and deployment I have.

The world is indeed changing. So change it not unplug it or throw it away. Just last May an announcement was made that Office 365 was coming to Technet. Yes! I said let people get familiar with it. Instead what did they do not two months later? Kill it off.

Microsoft is not helping their own transition to the cloud by the killing off of Technet.

I still need to install software in order to make sure where it goes next.

If you don't understand that, you don't understand the state of the marketplace right now.

And for a shareholder of Microsoft, their recent actions here, really concern me.

CodySkidmore 08/07/13 04:07:00 PM EDT

Toddy Mladenov, I wanted to make a few points about your article.

Free Evalutaions
Free has a nice ring to it; however, you failed to mention the software is only free for 30 to 180 days. Labs are set up with one or more servers and layers of software. Configure everything is time-consuming. Testing is often prolonged, over lapping, and intermittent. Forcing IT professionals to tear down and completely rebuild such testing environments every 180 days add substantial, unnecessary work. Furthermore, the list of free evaluations doesn’t include any previous products such as Windows 7. For that matter, only Windows 8 Enterprise is available. This may seem like a small point except companies are slow to adopt new products. Many only recently migrated to Windows 7.

Free Evaluations: see here

Pricing
As you point out, prices continue to drop. Windows 8 is certainly more affordable than Windows 7. This probably has more to do with luring reluctant customers to Windows 8. If Windows 8 was wildly popular, I doubt it would have the same price.

MSDN
Yes, TechNet subscribers can switch to MSDN. However, your statement that MSDN costs a few hundred dollars more annually is patently false. The subscription you referred to for $349 is TechNet Pro. The closest MSDN match is “Visual Studio Premium with MSDN” for $6,119. A $5,770 difference is hardly a few hundred dollars more a year. The subscription contains expensive developer tools IT professionals don’t need. I doubt they will ever claim to be developers either.

TechNet: see here

MSDN: see here

Installations And Azure
Yes, cloud services are convenient. Remember, this is about testing. Suggesting that evaluating software for a single day is sufficient draws a stark contrast between your opinion and reality.

Additionally, saying Azure costs a few bucks is disputable. The services required to perform lab testing in the cloud is certainly more than a few bucks a day. It is difficult to know how much because the fee schedule for Azure is so complex, we cannot adequately project cost.

The Problem with IT Pros
You suggested the real problem was IT pros themselves. If our roles were reversed, you would find this offensive. The world is changing as it always will. Predicting the future of IT is a fool’s errand though. For proof look no further Microsoft’s projections for Window 8 and Windows Surface. Juxtapose is with Microsoft’s recent $900 million write down and its $34 billion stock sell-off (the largest in 13 years).

You allude to Microsoft knowing what’s best for us. Under the circumstances, Microsoft is hardly in a position to give us advice. From our perspective, switching to Azure is better for Microsoft not necessarily us. I’d like to remind you, companies and their IT staffs are Microsoft’s customers. You seem to have inverted the relationship. IT professionals focus on non-cloud solutions because their customers demand it. The facts don’t support your assertion that the traditional role of IT is near its end.

The public should read up on this subject and draw its own conclusions. Read comments left by nearly 9,000 IT professionals on the petition and elsewhere on the Internet. The following links will help.

Internet Discussions: see here

Petition Comments: see here

Our Blog: see here

Respectfully,

Cody Skidmore

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that DatacenterDynamics has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. DatacenterDynamics is a brand of DCD Group, a global B2B media and publishing company that develops products to help senior professionals in the world's most ICT dependent organizations make risk-based infrastructure and capacity decisions.
So, you bought into the current machine learning craze and went on to collect millions/billions of records from this promising new data source. Now, what do you do with them? Too often, the abundance of data quickly turns into an abundance of problems. How do you extract that "magic essence" from your data without falling into the common pitfalls? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Natalia Ponomareva, Software Engineer at Google, will provide tips on how to be successful in large scale machine lear...
The IoT has the potential to create a renaissance of manufacturing in the US and elsewhere. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Florent Solt, CTO and chief architect of Netvibes, will discuss how the expected exponential increase in the amount of data that will be processed, transported, stored, and accessed means there will be a huge demand for smart technologies to deliver it. Florent Solt is the CTO and chief architect of Netvibes. Prior to joining Netvibes in 2007, he co-founded Rift Technol...
The increasing popularity of the Internet of Things necessitates that our physical and cognitive relationship with wearable technology will change rapidly in the near future. This advent means logging has become a thing of the past. Before, it was on us to track our own data, but now that data is automatically available. What does this mean for mHealth and the "connected" body? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Lisa Calkins, CEO and co-founder of Amadeus Consulting, will discuss the impact of wea...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Peak 10, Inc., a national IT infrastructure and cloud services provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Peak 10 provides reliable, tailored data center and network services, cloud and managed services. Its solutions are designed to scale and adapt to customers’ changing business needs, enabling them to lower costs, improve performance and focus inter...
We’ve worked with dozens of early adopters across numerous industries and will debunk common misperceptions, which starts with understanding that many of the connected products we’ll use over the next 5 years are already products, they’re just not yet connected. With an IoT product, time-in-market provides much more essential feedback than ever before. Innovation comes from what you do with the data that the connected product provides in order to enhance the customer experience and optimize busi...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Klein, CEO and Co-founder of Rachio, will discuss next generation communities that are using IoT to create more sustainable, intelligent communities. One example is Sterling Ranch, a 10,000 home development that – with the help of Siemens – will integrate IoT technology into the community to provide residents with energy and water savings as well as intelligent security. Everything from stop lights to sprinkler systems to building infrastructures will run ef...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Stratoscale, the software company developing the next generation data center operating system, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Stratoscale is revolutionizing the data center with a zero-to-cloud-in-minutes solution. With Stratoscale’s hardware-agnostic, Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) solution to store everything, run anything and scale everywhere...
Digital payments using wearable devices such as smart watches, fitness trackers, and payment wristbands are an increasing area of focus for industry participants, and consumer acceptance from early trials and deployments has encouraged some of the biggest names in technology and banking to continue their push to drive growth in this nascent market. Wearable payment systems may utilize near field communication (NFC), radio frequency identification (RFID), or quick response (QR) codes and barcodes...
Angular 2 is a complete re-write of the popular framework AngularJS. Programming in Angular 2 is greatly simplified – now it's a component-based well-performing framework. This immersive one-day workshop at 18th Cloud Expo, led by Yakov Fain, a Java Champion and a co-founder of the IT consultancy Farata Systems and the product company SuranceBay, will provide you with everything you wanted to know about Angular 2.
You think you know what’s in your data. But do you? Most organizations are now aware of the business intelligence represented by their data. Data science stands to take this to a level you never thought of – literally. The techniques of data science, when used with the capabilities of Big Data technologies, can make connections you had not yet imagined, helping you discover new insights and ask new questions of your data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sarbjit Sarkaria, data science team lead ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Men & Mice, the leading global provider of DNS, DHCP and IP address management overlay solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The Men & Mice Suite overlay solution is already known for its powerful application in heterogeneous operating environments, enabling enterprises to scale without fuss. Building on a solid range of diverse platform support,...
You deployed your app with the Bluemix PaaS and it's gaining some serious traction, so it's time to make some tweaks. Did you design your application in a way that it can scale in the cloud? Were you even thinking about the cloud when you built the app? If not, chances are your app is going to break. Check out this webcast to learn various techniques for designing applications that will scale successfully in Bluemix, for the confidence you need to take your apps to the next level and beyond.
Whether your IoT service is connecting cars, homes, appliances, wearable, cameras or other devices, one question hangs in the balance – how do you actually make money from this service? The ability to turn your IoT service into profit requires the ability to create a monetization strategy that is flexible, scalable and working for you in real-time. It must be a transparent, smoothly implemented strategy that all stakeholders – from customers to the board – will be able to understand and comprehe...
Increasing IoT connectivity is forcing enterprises to find elegant solutions to organize and visualize all incoming data from these connected devices with re-configurable dashboard widgets to effectively allow rapid decision-making for everything from immediate actions in tactical situations to strategic analysis and reporting. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Shikhir Singh, Senior Developer Relations Manager at Sencha, will discuss how to create HTML5 dashboards that interact with IoT devic...
Artificial Intelligence has the potential to massively disrupt IoT. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, AJ Abdallat, CEO of Beyond AI, will discuss what the five main drivers are in Artificial Intelligence that could shape the future of the Internet of Things. AJ Abdallat is CEO of Beyond AI. He has over 20 years of management experience in the fields of artificial intelligence, sensors, instruments, devices and software for telecommunications, life sciences, environmental monitoring, process...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ericsson has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Ericsson is a world leader in the rapidly changing environment of communications technology – providing equipment, software and services to enable transformation through mobility. Some 40 percent of global mobile traffic runs through networks we have supplied. More than 1 billion subscribers around the world re...
There is an ever-growing explosion of new devices that are connected to the Internet using “cloud” solutions. This rapid growth is creating a massive new demand for efficient access to data. And it’s not just about connecting to that data anymore. This new demand is bringing new issues and challenges and it is important for companies to scale for the coming growth. And with that scaling comes the need for greater security, gathering and data analysis, storage, connectivity and, of course, the...
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, will discuss how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to im...
This is not a small hotel event. It is also not a big vendor party where politicians and entertainers are more important than real content. This is Cloud Expo, the world's longest-running conference and exhibition focused on Cloud Computing and all that it entails. If you want serious presentations and valuable insight about Cloud Computing for three straight days, then register now for Cloud Expo.