I'm pleased to finally be able to write about a new currently under development integrated product, code-named Windows Server "Centro." Windows Server "Centro" brings together Windows Server, next-generation Exchange and security technologies, and a new integrated management experience designed specifically for the IT professional in a midsize business. Windows Server "Centro" was officially announced today at the Business Summit 2005 by none other than Bill Gates, our Chairman and Chief Software Architect. It's quite a relief to finally be tell my friends, partners and customers what I'd "moved to Redmond" to do. I am one of several product planners for Windows Server "Centro" in the Product Management Group. I work with the engineering team to insure that customer, partner, ISV and OEM feedback is baked deep into the product.
Developing a product that is meant to solve Mid-size customers' needs is both fascinating to watch and even more fun to contribute to. Even the simplest decisions have multiple choices and potentially serious ramifications so everything gets debated. Having worked directly with customers prior to moving to Redmond and as a former small and midsize business owner and systems integrator I'm keenly interested in giving time back to and increasing the productivity of customers' mostly overworked IT Administrators and our value added provider Partner channel.
Please feel free to share your ideas, concerns, kudos and dings. Please know that I still cannot be overly forthcoming about Centro's details yet because we're still figuring out what needs to get done and what will be moved to the next version. I'd hate to set an expectation about a feature or some functionality only to have it cut during the version's development. Believe me, it's almost better to not know what isn't going to make the final version because inevitably it'll be the one feature you just have to have. As a consumer of lots of software and having really high expectations meant I've felt that sting a number of times. Fortunately, there is almost always a next version and the product will continue to evolve. I promise that as soon as I can share more details I will. You'll be able to read about them right here and on the Midsize Business Center web page.