As someone who attempts (and whose job!) it is to maintain at least a passing knowledge of all of the Microsoft infrastructure servers and expertise in at least a few of them, weeks like this are both exciting and a great challenge. In case you missed them, there were a lot of announcements and releases this week. Here are some of the big ones:
System Center Operations Manager RTM
Office Communications Server 2007 Public Beta
PowerShell to be included in Longhorn Server
As if that isn't enough, these are some other announcements from MMS about upcoming releases:
"At MMS 2007, Microsoft will highlight progress made on its commitment to delivering a highly integrated, modular family of systems management solutions including the spring release to manufacturing (RTM) of Systems Management Server Service Pack 3 with AssetMetrix; the public availability of Data Protection Manager v2 Beta 2 within 45 days and the first public beta of Microsoft System Center Service Manager offering (formerly code named “Service Desk”) available in 30 days; the public availability of the Beta 2 release of Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager within 45 days; and the recent release of System Center Configuration Manager 2007 Beta 2 this past February. Microsoft also announced plans to build and ship an add-on that will support the 2007 Intel vPro with Intel AMT technology (code-named “Weybridge”) after the RTM of System Center Configuration Manager 2007 (SMS V4). This ensures that customers that implement and use Intel AMT and Systems Management Server 2003 are fully supported when they move to System Center Configuration Manager 2007."
These are just huge announcements. All of these are either major upgrades to existing products or completely new offerings. Looking at that list it should be pretty clear the Microsoft is very serious about the management space. The announcements with Cisco and EMC, the submission of the SML standard, etc. should also make it clear that System Center will expand far beyond just managing Windows servers.
Over on one of the more creatively named Microsoft blogs: "So, a booth babe and a geek walk in to a bar..." there is information and a link to a LiveMeeting about certification paths and plans for MCSAs and MCSEs when Longhorn server comes out.