The VAR Business site today quotes Ballmer in "Microsoft Stakes Out the Middle".

"The midmarket customer is the least well-served customer across a spectrum of people involved in IT today," he says. "They are challenged in dealing with complexity and scale, and need to find solutions that are very appropriate to their needs."

"Microsoft has been methodically crafting its answer to midmarket IT challenges. Its approach? To create single products that combine the company's ERP and CRM applications, Microsoft Office--as a front-end interface--and server offerings into integrated, out-of-the-box solutions. The forthcoming Centro server product is one example, which packages a bundle of Microsoft server tools, including Windows Server Longhorn, the next version of Exchange Server, SharePoint Server, and its system-management products. The caveat for partners and customers is that Centro won't likely sell for at least two years. That's because it leverages the code base for Microsoft Vista, the next version of Windows that isn't slated to ship in server version until 2007."