Microsoft has been, and for the most part still the standard for enterprise platforms and applications. For the most of the last 2 decades, they maintained a consistent user experience, added new functionality to their platforms and improved the performance of those platforms. With Windows 8 and Server 2012 I feel as though they have become to focused beating what Apple did in the consumer space by redesigning the user experience to something we don’t realize we want yet. In the consumer space, that is great/fine – NOT in the enterprise.
In addition to the UI, I also feel like Microsoft has not focused enough on continuous, predictable improvement (i.e. NT >> 2000 >> 2003 >> 2008) and instead gone for bulk change, sometimes (like is the case with Exchange) changing architecture to drastically. I liked Exchange 2003, 2007 was not bad and for the most part really liked 2010 (the management GUI was meh but Powershell awesome). I also liked the segmentation between roles which, now with Exchange 2013, they have done away with.
It’s flux like Exchange, drastic overhauls to HyperV (which they might have got right in 2012 but who knows if they will keep it around) and lack of commitment in consumer products (Zune, Kin, soon to be Surface) that makes me reluctant to trust my enterprise platforms to Microsoft. Even license changes that seemed to be somewhat understandable the last two or three years are being changed again.
Is this just part of a knee jerk reaction to the Surface being not good or do these changes have you wondering about Microsofts direction as well?