This week I’m in San Diego attending Microsoft’s Management Summit (MMS). This conference is all about Microsoft’s new System Center line of products and their implementation of the Dynamic Systems Initiative (DSI). The first product to embody DSI principles is the MOM’s successor, System Center Operations Manager, which launched Tuesday. I covered DSI and all the System Center products that will be launching over the next year or so in my article, “System Center Puts DSI into Practice.”

            After the keynote address by Microsoft Senior Vice President Bob Muglia, I had the opportunity to chat with Kirill Tatarinov, who runs the Microsoft division responsible for Microsoft’s management products. You can listen to our conversation, which I recorded as a podcast by clicking here and downloading the podcast called “System Center Launch: Talking to Kirill Tatarinov Direct from MMS.” It’s always fun to talk to an executive who’s truly excited about his group’s product coming to fruition and seeing a vision start to become reality.

            As usual at Microsoft conferences, I’m exhausted and exhilarated. There’s so much to see and learn. Tuesday afternoon, Dianne Russell (our senior editor responsible for product coverage) and I got to spend time with each of the finalists for Windows IT Pro’s Best of MMS awards. Before coming to San Diego, we had narrowed down the field from nearly 50 product entries to 10 finalists (and I can’t begin to explain how grueling it is to choose among so many outstanding products). The 10 finalists were:

·         Computer Associates, WANSyncHA for SQL with Assured Recovery

·         Emulex, VM Pilot

·         EXc Software, OpsMgr, SCCM and ENTSSo eXctender for non-Windows

·         KACE, KBOX 1000 Series Systems Management Appliance

·         Double-Take Server Recovery Option (SRO)

·         NetIQ AppManager 7

·         Sirana Software, Sirana SpamCenter

·         SMS Expert, SMS Companion

·         Special Operations Software, SpecOps Deploy

·         Quest Software, Quest Management Xtensions for MOM

We’ll announce the winners this afternoon.

            Today, there’s another keynote, lots of meetings, and non-stop information. I’ll have more podcasts and news tomorrow, and I’ll try to cover some of the most interesting announcements later this week. If you have any questions you want me to ask Microsoft while I’m here, please email me at karen@windowsitpro.com.