MICROSOFT Malaysia Sdn Bhd is bullish on the market opportunities for software technology in Malaysia, especially for its servers and information worker business, according to product management group director Alex Fong.
Fong said at the Microsoft Business Update in Port Dickson on Thursday that the company had made tremendous progress in the local server market and for its financial year ending June, it expected its server sales to grow between 20% and 30%, depending on the type of server software.
Microsoft categorises its server software into infrastructure servers, which include the Windows server and Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) server; and application servers, which include the SQL server and BizTalk server.
Fong said the Windows server software was growing twice as fast as the hardware in the infrastructure server market.
However, its application servers were growing faster, at close to 30%, he added.
People are not just buying new application servers for new Windows servers, but also for the existing ones, he said.
Microsoft expects 20%-25% growth in its information worker business, which includes the Microsoft Office and other desktop applications, for its current financial year.
More people are beginning to understand that piracy is not good. And they are realising that the information workers are the core assets in most companies and are now thinking of how to invest in the right tools to enable these workers, Fong said.
Its information worker business is expected to perform even better the next financial year, mainly due to Office 11, scheduled to be launched in July.
It's not just a new product. Office 11 tightens the integration between desktop productivity in the front-end and server application in the back-end, bringing about new productivity value, Fong said.
He said that in the past 10 years or so, much growth in the office products was mainly to drive productivity for the individual, but the growth in the future would be to connect people to people and people to servers.
On the server side, the Windows Server 2003, to be released in the third week of May, is expected to boost server sales.
The Windows Server 2003 boasts of being a get more for less release, delivering simplified, secure IT infrastructure, and at the same time more user-friendly and gives more creativity power to the end-user to enhance productivity.
However, we remain cautious on that Windows server business, Fong said.
He added that there would also be situations where Windows would need to inter-operate with Linux, mainframe and other servers.