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Top news stories for December 2009

Check out the top news stories for December, including headlines from the Microsoft Azure platform, Google's credibility in the enterprise, Mac Snow Leopard vs. Windows 7 and more.

1: For Microsoft Azure platform, late is good

When Microsoft's Azure cloud computing platform goes live in February as planned, it will be late to the party compared to Amazon, and others. But, many solution providers and developers say it won't be too late.

They think, in fact, that Microsoft's tardiness may be a good thing and that Azure is hitting just when many customers are finally ready to trust some of their applications or data to the cloud.

Microsoft has made a habit of getting into new businesses late and displacing incumbents.

2: Google is evil, partners say

Third-party VARs and ISV partners, many recruited by Google itself, say the search giant has a bad habit of wooing strategic third parties to work on pet projects, then competing with them. They maintain that Google abused their trust in its push for enterprise credibility.

They maintain that Google's self-professed "Don't be evil" mantra is ironic as the search giant gains entry into enterprise accounts where these partners already have traction.

3: Mac Snow Leopard OS struggles against Windows 7

Although the new Mac Snow Leopard operating system hit big with consumers, VARs agree that it has a ways to go before it can gain significant share in enterprise accounts.

In business, Snow Leopard, like its Mac OS predecessors, is finding its way onto a few marketing and advertising desktops, but when it comes to widespread adoption throughout an organization, Apple Inc. has its work cut out for it.

The good news for Apple is that some senior executives show a growing interest in the latest Mac operating system, especially in small to medium-sized businesses, VARs said. That could stem from Snow Leopard's compatibility with Microsoft Exchange or solid sales for Mac laptops and notebooks.

4: Microsoft ups ante on system center for cloud

Microsoft's acquisition of Opalis Software, an IT process automation provider, shows how much the company wants to make System Center a contender in cloud computing, partners and analysts said.

Opalis' software will be sold with future Microsoft System Center products, although licensing and pricing details are not yet available.

5: Gartner, some VARs, see good server sales news

Some solution providers saw server hardware sales solidifying at year's end after several quarters of decline.

"I do think the word is 'stabilizing' not 'growing,' " said Harry Kasparian, president of Corporate Technologies Inc., a Burlington, Mass.-based solution provider.

Check out the most-read news stories for November 2009.

Let us know what you think about this story; email: Barbara Darrow, Senior News Director,, and

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