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Hi everyone, my name is Jeff Wettlaufer, and I am the Sr. Technical Product Manager for System Center Configuration Manager.  We have an incredibly big year ahead of us, and from a Technical perspective I wanted to highlight some things you can expect to be seeing from our team. 

Being a management division – without client OS, servers, applications, or workloads our products are like a house with no furniture 🙂 .  So when things ramp up to launch, or get announced, the Technical Product guys get pretty jazzed. (ok well we also snicker at the work load it creates, but that's the fun bit).  With our Wave 2 product line now running in the market (Configuration Management, Performance Management, Data Protection and Vitalization Management) we look towards what's next in the journey with our customers and partners.  What a year this is going to be for System Center.  I thought it might be cool to highlight from a technology perspective, our product release lineup and our technical content efforts (to support the releases) -to try and summarize how many things we have kicking off to look forward to in 2008. I am sure I might miss something here, but hey, its a blog, :).  So in addition to the release plan for the System Center product lineup, check out the list of things we are working on to attach to, build support for, and generally provide solutions around this year.

We need to begin with Windows Server 2008 .  It is such a massive product to launch, and there are so many facets of it to be aligned to.   Most of my career was spent in the United Kingdom as an Infrastructure Consultant, and Windows Client Specialist, and seeing in the past 2 years how we launch Vista and Server is incredibly interesting.  I'll try in this and future blogs to share what it's like being around the product guys, as it is truly a unique experience.  From the dev engineering side to the Marketing and Business side, there are many moving parts. For products like System Center, we all are working with the Server team at different angles to help them, share our stories and share the attach messages on where we work together.  This is where the team I sit in gets onto the ice.  So, I have some cool topics ready  to post on like Server Deployment, NAP, Configuration Baseline Management, and Datacenter Software Update strategies.  Stay tuned, I hope they are interesting for you.

Another area we thought it might be cool to come into this blog with is our connection into the product team.  A topic planned is about decrypting the product release cycle, from planning and research, through scope definition, to feature assignment, WAR meetings, and then the release efforts of Beta, Escrow, RC, RTM and RTW.  How and why do we do these phases, and what does each mean?  Why do we service pack and provide R2's?  

In addition to these topics, there are a collection of other topics that will hopefully take advantage of the technical team's experience.  We have an upcoming Vista Service Pack 1 releasing with the Server 2008 launch, there are Service Packs and R2 releases planned for Configuration Manager, a Service Pack for Operations Manager, as well as next releases for DPM and Virtual Machine Manager.  With these Service Packs and new releases we introduce  product enhancements and of course new capabilities.  I would look forward to you coming back here regularly to see some of these topics covered.

Our team is not only involved with the Product releases, but also the various events.  The Microsoft Management Summit, TechEd worldwide, the Partner Conference, ITForum EMEA, RSA, Interop, Cebit, you name it.  We get requests to attend all of them, so hopefully we can get some content cracking from our experiences there and our interactions with you, our customers and partners.  At these events we drive to cover new and improved topics, build bigger and more complex demos, and of course try and keep up with you out there and what you are doing with System Center in your organizations.  Not an easy job.

We are immersed in these System Center features on a daily basis, and we hope to use this blog to share with you these relationships in a way we have not done before on our .com and Technet locations.  Thanks for your time, and we hope you find the blog a useful repository of information on Microsoft's Management business.

Kind regards

jw corp Jeff Wettlaufer
Sr. Technical Product Manager
System Center Configuration Manager