Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Microsoft: Project Green to appear in waves

At its Convergence conference this week, Microsoft laid out its vision for Project Green, its roadmap for Microsoft business applications, which include acquisitions Great Plains, Navision, Axapta, and Solomon, as well as Microsoft CRM. According to Doug Burgum, head of the group, Project Green will appear in "waves" of incremental improvements in functionality and changes to the underlying technology to bring the applications into line with Microsoft standards and platforms.
  • The first wave, which is now appearing until the end of 2007, will incorporate into the products common Microsoft technologies, such as Microsoft's Sharepoint portal, its workflow engine, and SQL-Server business intelligence capabilities. This wave will also create a common Web services architecture among the products to facilitate integration.

  • The second wave, which will run to the end of this decade, will allow the products to take advantage of features in Microsoft's next generation Longhorn operating system and the next version of its Visual Studio developer tools.

  • What about the original vision of Project Green: to merge the four disparate products to a single code base? Burgum said that would be a third wave, maybe. Quoted in a CNET interview, he said, "It's a tough challenge. Some of it was expected to be tough, and some of it was even tougher than what was expected."
It's easy to poke fun at Microsoft for having to scale back its ambitions for Project Green. But frankly, I'm glad to hear that the road ahead will be more evolutionary than revolutionary. Business users prefer stability, continuity, and incremental improvements in business systems, rather than radical wholesale disruptions.

Microsoft's plan for Project Green is a realistic and acheivable roadmap for its business applications. Existing users will be glad that they will be able to stay on their current systems and take advantage of new technology as incremental upgrades. New prospects will be able purchase Microsoft's applications today, knowing that they are not investing in products that will soon be at their end of life.

For more details, check out the article on CNET and another one on Microsoft Watch.

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Microsoft fuzzes up the definition of Project Green

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