It’s that favorite time of year again. The one where we all get to read Esri’s Q&A for the Esri UC.

Some of the points of interest…

Q: How is Esri doing? A: Doin’ fine, thank you. (glad we got that out of the way)

Q: What is Esri?s position about open source and its products?

A: Well we love all god’s creatures. Also we’ve got a couple open source products that we opened up but we know you won’t support because you are a bunch of freeloaders.

Q: Why should I use the Esri family of products? Why not Google Earth and Google Maps?

A: So Google will be the white elephant in the room at all times at this Esri UC. Basically Esri has you covered so don’t worry about the Google.

Q: Is Esri working on simplifying end-user licensing for software products?

A: Some of this is old (borrow license manager license), some of it is pretty new (one month ArcGIS Server license). None of it really changes anything.

Q: When will ArcGIS support OGC?s web tiling service?

A: 10.1 baby!

Q: When will Esri provide full support for KML/KMZ?

A: Looks like 10.1 will be the release that almost does what you want. I say almost because KML/KMZ read/write is a dirty business.

Q: Is Python a replacement for VBA?

A: Here come the VBA questions. Look, the writing has been on the wall long enough. if you are still asking this question, it might be time to move along and find a job in another industry. Python is a replacement for VBA because unlike VBA it is useful and has a future.

Q: When can we expect the next release of ArcGIS?

A: Early 2012 with the beta out in July. 10 SP3 is out this fall.

Q: Will ArcGIS run on Linux?

A: This is such a cute question. There is this wacky hope that Linux or Mac Desktop support could be around the corner. It isn’t guys, Windows only! Now that super secret next verision of ArcGIS will support everything, right?

Q: ArcGIS 10 seems slower than pervious releases for some areas, why?

A: Esri posted some scientific reasons why this is the case but we all know you never use even number releases of Esri software. 10.1 will be fast and wonderful. 10.2 will be a nightmare, but that 10.3 release will make it all worth the pain.

Q: Going forward, how will Esri leverage the cloud?

A: My own personal feeling on Esri’s strategy here is they’ll keep using the word cloud until it has no meaning. It may be better summed up with this video.

Q: What is the future of ArcGIS Desktop? Will it be replaced by ArcGIS Server?

A: Don’t worry button pushers, your job is safe. For now…

Q: Will Esri continue to ship ArcInfo Workstation with the 10.1 release?

A: A moment of silence please for ArcInfo Workstation.

Q: Will Esri release ArcIMS at version 10.1?

A: I swear to god, I’ll buy anyone a steak dinner at the UC that can prove to me this was an actual question. I refuse to believe anyone cares about this product or has in the past 2 years.

Q: Will ArcGIS Server support deployments in Azure?

A: Microsoft and Esri team up to take on the Google.

Q: When will ArcGIS Online support WMS?

A: So this is probably an INSPIRE or Federal Government requirement. I can’t imagine any ordinary person just thinking to themselves… “I’d totally be all over ArcGIS.com if it just supported WMS”. Right?

Q: Is ArcGIS open?

A: Oh boy. Again, see here.

Q: Is VBA supported at ArcGIS 10.1?

A: Stop it right now, you are killing me with these VBA questions. As I look over at the calendar on my wall, I see the year 2011. VBA was not the answer 10 years ago.

Q: How is Esri planning to support HTML5?

A: I love the answer, basically HTML5 is awesome, but they realize that most of their user base is stuck on old versions of IE. Thus as awesome as it can be, it isn’t.

Q: What is the role of ArcGIS Explorer Desktop in ArcGIS?

A: ArcGIS Explorer is the one product I don’t get. The team Esri put on its development is awesome, but is this product really needed?

Q: When will 2D and 3D viewing be integrated into a single application?

A: Not yet, but soon. Remember what I said about even releases of ArcGIS. If this comes in 10.2, you’ll want to wait for 10.3 for performance reasons.

Q: What happened to FGDC metadata support in ArcGIS 10? It seems to be missing.

A: FGDC Metadata fans are such drama queens. Nobody cares about FGDC metadata so lets move on.

Q: Will Esri support Netezza?s TwinFin database at 10.1?

A: Wait… Is that a direct connection to Netezza? No SDE?

Q: Will Esri be supporting SQL Server Denali at 10.1?

A: Stop using beta software and asking us to support it. You’ll get it when you get it.

Q: When will ArcGIS support direct access to spatial DBMSs?

A: Nothing else needs to be said.

Q: What are some of the enhancements to the geodatabase in ArcGIS 10.1?

A: Lots of good new stuff there. I like the new Geodatabase Administration Toolbox. That should make things much easier for managers of the Geodatabase.

Q: Will Esri be hosting GIS services for its users?

A: Paid subscription stuff here. Looks like you are going to be able to upload your data and visualize it on ArcGIS.com. Then share the map with anyone. Where have I seen that idea before?

Q: How will ArcGIS Online be sustainable? Who is paying for it?

A: Wonder why this question was put in by Esri? Are they getting pressure from someone asking if they are committed to ArcGIS.com? Bottom line is Esri thinks it will be sustainable beause they think they’ll convince you to pay for hosting on it. Wouldn’t bet against that thinking for sure.