The company’s new strategy seems to be… if it moves virtualise it, if it doesn’t move virtualise it anyway, and if its virtualised already then virtualise it some more and manage it. Microsoft is determined to lose a reputation for workload inefficiency, and the virtualisation story makes for great motherhood and apple crumble stuff, but would it hurt the firm to at least mention green issues in the efficiency context? A day and a half and the only conversation about greening was at the dinner table.
Microsoft likes to see itself, somewhat justifiably, as taking a long term view on things. Its technical marketing people take evident pride in eschewing what they see as the “latest fads”. Service oriented architecture (SOA) is a good example of same. While other vendors, most notably IBM, were developing the market Microsoft sat on the sidelines looking grumpy, saying ‘there is no such thing as SOA”. Three years later or so and it finally jumps on the bandwagon. For Microsoft though, virtualisation is not a fad but The Real Deal.
And yet… shouldn’t a company that prides itself on the long view be more, rather than less, obsessed with carbon emissions,efficiency and maybe even the future of the planet? Virtualisation and greener data centers make great bed-fellows, as vendors such as Cassatt are doing a great job of articulating, and with that in mind some opportunistic marketing and development would make sense. Microsoft should go and talk to US energy and utility companies and ask about bills and rebates for customers that run more effective IT operations. It could startwith PG&E, which actively recommends customers virtualise their data centers through rebates and a campaign called wecandothis.