So five years later Microsoft finally launches SQL Server 5. I mean, how many tech companies could genuinely survive a 5 year major product development cycle that looks around 2 years late? Well, it seems Microsoft can. For, infact, the Server division, responsible for SQL Server and other products and tools is thriving.
Microsoft's server division has become its most significant source of growth. It has contributed more than any other part of the group to Microsoft's overall growth over the last 4 years. This has accelerated over the last few quarters, with the division accounting for 40% of grwoth in its last fiscal year to end June, and 49% in the most recent quarter.
With revenues set to grow above $10bn this year, the server division has become Microsofts first truly successful venture beyond the desktop. This should make Oracle more than a little concerned and make sense of their attempts to diversify their business more and more into applications.
Mind you, its not all rosy at Microsoft's server division. They have to get future release cycles down to 2 years and still pack enough features to compete effectively. They also have to stave off the ever growing threat from open source products (Apache in particular) and they heve to keep the anti-trust folks at bay. But, hey - its Microsoft - no problemo!