Pretty neat announcement, and I’m excited to see what happens. If the BHOLD stuff gets lopped into a FIM box with a new splash screen then I think that would be a fail. In fact, since GRC is already growing in System Center you could argue FIM + BHOLD is the wrong pairing.
When Zoomit was acquired back in 1999 we had the initial release of Via that amounted to some rebranding but mostly the same code until 2003 when the next major release represented true integration into the Microsoft platform.
When Alacris was acquired and added to the ILM box we had the same initial release (mostly branding changes) but the next major release did not enjoy major changes or integration (Just ask Brian Komar to spot the differences…). Instead FIM today is composed of three products (Sync, Service and Certificate Management) each with their own set of APIs, databases, user interfaces, policy engines, etc. While the amount of features is compelling, the cohesion could be better (FWIW – I am NOT saying that competitor products are any better, just that I have a higher expectation of software from Bill’s software hut).
My expectation in the short term is that BHOLD will simply be rebranded. Longer term I hope the technology is truly integrated into FIM or System Center, or into some fascinating Azure concoction.
For good TV, think about what happens to the other ISV partners that provide the same technology to Microsoft customers. What happens when the 800 pound gorilla makes THIS step?
The TEC conference in Germany next month just got a little more interesting…
Update: Kinda neat, this blog gets mention in BHOLD's press release.