Over three million Microsoft customers around the world participated in early feedback programmes or beta tested the latest slew of Microsoft enterprise products, including Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and Visual Studio 2008.
The general consensus from those Irish firms which took part in the trials is that the new software tools are easier to install and allow for easier network configuration.
“I have been testing Windows Server 2008 for a while now and I like it – it’s fast and quick to set up. I particularly like the roles element as I would normally spend a considerable amount of time ‘trimming’ unrequired services from a production server that are auto-installed or auto-started in Windows 2003 Server installs,” said Larry Doyle, IT professional with Netforce, Dublin.
“I haven’t timed it, but it seems like 2008 will save me hours for each install I perform. I will be installing Windows 2008 for a couple of clients as soon as it is released to allow them to take advantage of new features such as increased security, faster IIS, improved management features, faster deployment time, improved performance etc.”
In terms of software developers trialling the new Visual Studio 2008, the ability to customise data suites and compile web tests that can be incorporated into a mix and used for load testing was pivotal.
“We found that the web test cases were easy to create and run and that it was quite easy to bind CSV and XML files to these web tests,” said Peter Buckley, test team lead with DeCare Systems Ireland.
“As our web-based insurance applications are heavily data driven, this ability to quite easily bind a web test to dynamic data is a major plus for us and it means we can now functionally test our web applications more thoroughly with a more complete range of data than ever before,” Buckley added.
At the global launch of the new products, Microsoft chief executive, Steve Ballmer, said compiling feedback was central to the launch of the new products.
“IT professionals and developers have told us they spend too much time and money on managing existing systems and not enough on investing in new innovations that will make them more competitive,” Ballmer said.
“Taking that feedback to heart is at the core of our new wave of products. The overwhelming response from thousands of IT professionals and developers around the world on this new platform has been that it will simplify management and offer the most secure enterprise platform and tools we have ever delivered,” Ballmer said.
By John Kennedy