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Active Directory IS Valuble

Many have considered Microsoft’s power from a consumer perspective, but in the blog “Microsoft’s Most Valuable Asset“, Jeffery Padgett is spot on about what is Microsoft’s major asset. he goes on to say:

Why?  Because after the fail of Novell, the only relevant, full featured alternative for the corporate marketplace is AD.  When Novell was king, NDS was everywhere.  In fact, I spent much of my career connecting devices to an NDS X500 directory.  But Novell pissed so many people off with that nasty Novell client that they started to lose market share to the then burgeoning growth of Windows NT.

This is so on the money – and contrasting it with how Novell fell from grace in IT departments is important too. I think the operating system landscape would have been very different with a strong and powerful Novell, maybe even a “real” client operating system from them. What surprises me is why Microsoft has taken the RIM/BBM approach and avoided licensing the heck out of the Active Directory. We should have seen this thing spread out and get used in ways never intended like large address books and maybe far flung authentication schemes in the cloud. Wasted opportunity, Microsoft.