At the Tech Ed 2008 IT Professionals conference this week in Orlando, Microsoft executives were talking up the company's Dynamic IT vision and the specific products designed to implement it. These include Windows Server 2008, Microsoft Application Virtualization 4.5 (formerly SoftGrid), Identity Lifecycle Manager 2, Visual Studio 2008, and SQL Server 2008.

"The IT industry is evolving at a rate like never before, driven by changing user needs, globalization, shifting economic pressures, increasingly faster processing speeds and more," Microsoft Server and Tools senior vice president Bob Muglia said. "We truly believe this change represents an opportunity for IT professionals to move the needle at their companies by employing new solutions and technologies to boost the agility and speed of their IT systems, ultimately making these systems more dynamic. We call this Dynamic IT."

One of the most important trends in Dynamic IT is, of course, virtualization. Not surprisingly, Microsoft has significantly bolstered its position in the virtualization market and now offers an integrated virtualization solution, Hyper-V, right in Windows Server. The company will ship a release candidate (RC) version of its Application Virtualization 4.5 tool with a month and recently announced a public beta of System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008, which can be used to manage Hyper-V environments.

Microsoft also announced the RC version of SQL Server 2008 at the show, as well as the availability of ILM 2 Beta 3, a pre-release version of its upcoming identity and access management system. Its Forefront Client Security product now supports Windows Server 2008, and a Beta 1 version of Forefront Security for Office Communications Server is available as well.

Tech Ed IT is attended by over 10,000 IT pros, according to Microsoft. A separateTech Ed event aimed at developers was held last week.