Microsoft Sunsets Zune...and the Mainframe Migration Alliance

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Microsoft Sunsets Zune...and the Mainframe Migration Alliance

Microsoft has quietly disbanded its Mainframe Migration Alliance. Microsoft invited relevant business partners to join the MMA as long as they tried to replace mainframes with (many more) X86 servers running Microsoft Windows. However, with the mainframe enjoying a well documented renaissance, in part because of its leading cloud computing credentials, the MMA has not met its founder's expectations. In fact, the MMA might have actually helped IBM highlight the important functional and non-functional differences between mainframes and other platforms. Keep in mind that IBM sells many types of servers, including X86 servers running Linux and Windows. One size does not fit all.

That said, Microsoft isn't giving up exactly. If you visit the now defunct MMA Web site ( you'll be automatically redirected to Microsoft's "Platform Modernization Alliance." The PMA's mission: move everything (or at least more applications) to Microsoft Windows Server. Mainframes, UNIX servers, several mid-range servers, and non-Microsoft application environments all enjoy equal billing.

This change in strategy strikes me as classic "bean counter" thinking. Why not fund a single "migration" program and save Microsoft some expense dollars? That makes some sense financially but not so much sense technically. Perhaps it's the right business decision for Microsoft, but by definition Microsoft has scaled back its emphasis on migrating from mainframes.

by Timothy Sipples March 30, 2011 in Current Affairs


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You know, they could make money with a couple of different strategies:

1. Port the Hardware Abstraction Layer to z/architecture (they're considering ARM, they've done other hardware) - thereby enabling Windows Server to be a z/VM guest and competing with z/Linux

2. Port the .NET CLR (which is really similar to a JVM, in my opinion) to Z - providing a batch CLR and a CICS CLR (CICS has the facilities for adding your own, ever since Java was added, right?) - which would allow them to sell their .NET development tools to a whole new set of customers.

Posted by: Tim | Mar 30, 2011 10:38:26 AM

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