Java IoT Authors: John Mertic, Liz McMillan, TJ Randall, Carmen Gonzalez, Yeshim Deniz

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.


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

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.

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


Cody Skidmore

@ThingsExpo Stories
@ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential M2M Brand by Onalytica in the ‘Machine to Machine: Top 100 Influencers and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed the online debate on M2M by looking at over 85,000 tweets to provide the most influential individuals and brands that drive the discussion. According to Onalytica the "analysis showed a very engaged community with a lot of interactive tweets. The M2M discussion seems to be more fragmented and driven by some of the major brands present in the...
The Quantified Economy represents the total global addressable market (TAM) for IoT that, according to a recent IDC report, will grow to an unprecedented $1.3 trillion by 2019. With this the third wave of the Internet-global proliferation of connected devices, appliances and sensors is poised to take off in 2016. In his session at @ThingsExpo, David McLauchlan, CEO and co-founder of Buddy Platform, discussed how the ability to access and analyze the massive volume of streaming data from millio...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pulzze Systems will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Pulzze Systems, Inc. provides infrastructure products for the Internet of Things to enable any connected device and system to carry out matched operations without programming. For more information, visit http://www.pulzzesystems.com.
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
Enterprise IT has been in the era of Hybrid Cloud for some time now. But it seems most conversations about Hybrid are focused on integrating AWS, Microsoft Azure, or Google ECM into existing on-premises systems. Where is all the Private Cloud? What do technology providers need to do to make their offerings more compelling? How should enterprise IT executives and buyers define their focus, needs, and roadmap, and communicate that clearly to the providers?
Successful digital transformation requires new organizational competencies and capabilities. Research tells us that the biggest impediment to successful transformation is human; consequently, the biggest enabler is a properly skilled and empowered workforce. In the digital age, new individual and collective competencies are required. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bob Newhouse, CEO and founder of Agilitiv, will draw together recent research and lessons learned from emerging and established ...
One of biggest questions about Big Data is “How do we harness all that information for business use quickly and effectively?” Geographic Information Systems (GIS) or spatial technology is about more than making maps, but adding critical context and meaning to data of all types, coming from all different channels – even sensors. In his session at @ThingsExpo, William (Bill) Meehan, director of utility solutions for Esri, will take a closer look at the current state of spatial technology and ar...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Streamlyzer will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Streamlyzer is a powerful analytics for video streaming service that enables video streaming providers to monitor and analyze QoE (Quality-of-Experience) from end-user devices in real time.
You have great SaaS business app ideas. You want to turn your idea quickly into a functional and engaging proof of concept. You need to be able to modify it to meet customers' needs, and you need to deliver a complete and secure SaaS application. How could you achieve all the above and yet avoid unforeseen IT requirements that add unnecessary cost and complexity? You also want your app to be responsive in any device at any time. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Allen, General Manager of...
SYS-CON Media announced today that @WebRTCSummit Blog, the largest WebRTC resource in the world, has been launched. @WebRTCSummit Blog offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. @WebRTCSummit Blog can be bookmarked ▸ Here @WebRTCSummit conference site can be bookmarked ▸ Here
Cloud based infrastructure deployment is becoming more and more appealing to customers, from Fortune 500 companies to SMEs due to its pay-as-you-go model. Enterprise storage vendors are able to reach out to these customers by integrating in cloud based deployments; this needs adaptability and interoperability of the products confirming to cloud standards such as OpenStack, CloudStack, or Azure. As compared to off the shelf commodity storage, enterprise storages by its reliability, high-availabil...
The IoT industry is now at a crossroads, between the fast-paced innovation of technologies and the pending mass adoption by global enterprises. The complexity of combining rapidly evolving technologies and the need to establish practices for market acceleration pose a strong challenge to global enterprises as well as IoT vendors. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Clark Smith, senior product manager for Numerex, will discuss how Numerex, as an experienced, established IoT provider, has embraced a ...
DevOps is being widely accepted (if not fully adopted) as essential in enterprise IT. But as Enterprise DevOps gains maturity, expands scope, and increases velocity, the need for data-driven decisions across teams becomes more acute. DevOps teams in any modern business must wrangle the ‘digital exhaust’ from the delivery toolchain, "pervasive" and "cognitive" computing, APIs and services, mobile devices and applications, the Internet of Things, and now even blockchain. In this power panel at @...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in Embedded and IoT solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/Big Data, HPC and ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftNet Solutions will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SoftNet Solutions specializes in Enterprise Solutions for Hadoop and Big Data. It offers customers the most open, robust, and value-conscious portfolio of solutions, services, and tools for the shortest route to success with Big Data. The unique differentiator is the ability to architect and ...
“Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CloudBerry Backup is a leading cross-platform cloud backup and disaster recovery solution integrated with major public cloud services, such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform.
In past @ThingsExpo presentations, Joseph di Paolantonio has explored how various Internet of Things (IoT) and data management and analytics (DMA) solution spaces will come together as sensor analytics ecosystems. This year, in his session at @ThingsExpo, Joseph di Paolantonio from DataArchon, will be adding the numerous Transportation areas, from autonomous vehicles to “Uber for containers.” While IoT data in any one area of Transportation will have a huge impact in that area, combining sensor...
In the next forty months – just over three years – businesses will undergo extraordinary changes. The exponential growth of digitization and machine learning will see a step function change in how businesses create value, satisfy customers, and outperform their competition. In the next forty months companies will take the actions that will see them get to the next level of the game called Capitalism. Or they won’t – game over. The winners of today and tomorrow think differently, follow different...
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smar...
The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.