Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Internet Explorer is dead. Is Active Directory next?

I saw a post on a colleagues blog the other day that Chrome just surpassed Internet Explorer as the worlds most popular browser. On the one hand it surprised me and on the other hand it didn't.   Not only has Chrome gained ground but so has Firefox.  The King is dead.  Long live the King.

So my question is the following.  With all of the emphasis on the "cloud directory", is Active Directory on-premise going to suffer the same fate?

It may not sound as far fetched as some of you may think...  Let's look back at a few things in history.  Take Novell’s dominance in the LDAP directory space in the 80’s and 90’s. Few would have predicted that Microsoft would release Active Directory and nearly squash Novell in just a very few short years. Novell was the largest deployed directory and tons of small, medium and large business ran Novell eDirectory and Netware. I was one of those folks who deployed and supported eDirectory and Netware having been a CNE (long since dropped from my resume).

Active Directory (even in its first version) was a very good directory/network operating system (NOS).  My belief, however, is that the demise of eDirectory had more to do with the fact that Novell rested on its laurels too long.  They did not continue to innovate and add significant features to eDirectory. 

So the question still looms,  is Active Directory, next? There have been very few enhancements to Active Directory in the last few years. Server 2012 does have some nice new capabilities but not what I would consider significant.  So will competition wake Microsoft up, or will there be a new King of directories/network operating system (NOS) in this decade?  While many have called for the death of the LDAP directory, I personally don't see it going away anytime soon (on-premise at least).
Still think I am way off base?  Let's talk about Apple. Apple was nearly kaput. Stick a fork in them. They were done. Microsoft (for fear of the big Monopoly word) made an investment in them and bailed them out. What happened next, we now know is nothing but pure genius.  Apple is not a very large hardware or software maker. Nope.  They are simply the richest company in the world with respect to market capitalization.  Who would have made that prediction back then?  I know I certainly wouldn't have!

So what does this mean to me?  Well, my team over at Optimal IdM  is hard at work on a lot of very cool things that we believe will truly innovate the industry.  A key mantra of ours is interoperability.  We listen to our customers very closely.  We learn from them and work with them to build the solutions they need, rather than building something in a vacuum and trying to sell that to them. 

Stay tuned for more exciting information from us on how we are revolutionizing how organizations manage their infrastructures. 

Who knows maybe Optimal IdM will be the new king of directories/NOS?

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