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Microsoft renames server platform

Highlights plan for delivering future OS upgrades

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April 16, 2003 07:02 PM ET - Microsoft on Wednesday dropped the .Net moniker from its line of enterprise servers and will now call the group of 13 products the Windows Server System.

The move not only signals the company’s attempt to clarify its disjointed lineup of server infrastructure products, but also reinforces the fact that in the future, Microsoft plans to deliver incremental upgrades to the OS to keep pace with development of new technologies that make WSS tick.

Last month, Microsoft executives said they were in the process of deciding how to deliver new functionality to the OS between the next two major releases, the first of which was originally planned to be client only (code named Longhorn) and the second that was server only (code named Blackcomb).

The plan for WSS reinforces the notion that Microsoft will have to deliver OS features between major OS upgrades. Microsoft is already committed to delivering functionality upgrades to Windows Server 2003 after it ships next week.

With WSS, Microsoft did not introduce any new technologies, or change pricing or licensing for its products, but will use WSS as a brand name in an attempt to erase confusion created when it lumped the servers under the .Net banner.

“.Net Enterprise Servers was never a brand, it wasn’t comprehensive,” says Barry Goffe, group manager of the server platform division at Microsoft. “We’ve been inconsistent about what is in and what is out of that lineup. We’ve done a lot of things seemingly in a vacuum.”

Goffe says Windows Server System is intended to help customers understand the Windows platform and where it is headed.

The idea of a “system” has also been attached to Microsoft’s Office. The company recently branded Office 2003 and a group of supporting products namely OneNote and InfoPath as Office System 2003.

“There are two things. We are making it crystal clear that Windows Server 2003 is our underlying platform for our overall strategy. And we want to clarifying our promise to IT that we will reduce cost and complexity of our infrastructure,” says Goffe. Intergration, interoperability and comprehensive infrastructure are the three main themes, he says.

The WSS family is made up of Windows Server 2003, BizTalk Server, Commerce Server, Content Management Server, Host Integration Server, SQL Server, Exchange Server, SharePoint Portal Server, Project Server, Internet Security and Acceleration Server, Systems Management Server, Operations Manager and Application Center.

The WSS lineup also will include technology that is nearing shipment or in development, including the Real-Time Communications Server 2003 (RTC); Automated Deployment Services (ADS) for automatically installing the OS on servers; Rights Management Services (RMS), and System Center, a combination of System Management Sever and Microsoft Operations Manager.

WSS also will encompass other initiatives such as Microsoft’s Jupiter project, an integration of BizTalk Server, Commerce Server and Content Management Server; and Dynamic Systems Initiative (DSI), which is focused on creating a platform to support a self-managing environment.

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