Microsoft pries lid off stack

Microsoft this week will put a new face on its stack. Analysts, however, question whether the changes will be dramatic enough to inspire customers to upgrade in the immediate future.

Microsoft will unveil on Thursday Windows Server 2003, Visual Studio .Net 2003, and the 64-bit SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition. The software giant will also rebrand its server portfolio, placing Windows Server 2003 and more than a dozen other servers under the Windows Server System moniker. The .Net tag will be retired from server products, according to company officials.

Microsoft’s stack face-lift speaks to a number of the company’s latest goals -- namely, boosting its .Net Framework development platform as an alternative to Java and Linux, making it easier to use the company’s server platform, and enhancing its Web services capabilities. The server and tools are being launched together to create synergy between the products, said Dennis Oldroyd, director of Windows Server marketing at Microsoft in Redmond, Wash.

"The key new [feature] for Windows Server is inclusion of the .Net Framework shipping native," Oldroyd said. The Net Framework 1.1 includes the CLR (Common Language Run time), ASP .Net class libraries, and the .Net programming model. "It’s our version of the application server. We think it leapfrogs Java in terms of productivity, in terms of performance."

Ironically, Microsoft is touting its Windows server platform as a cheaper alternative to Linux. "We really feel that we deliver some unique value in terms of dependability, manageability, and performance relative to open-source products," Oldroyd said.

The operating system also features native support for Web services, including a UDDI server for public or private registries. It will also be available in 64-bit versions.

Visual Studio .Net 2003 features C++ standards compliance and mobile development enhancements via the .Net Compact Framework, providing a consistent programming model between it and the .Net Framework.

"[Visual Studio .Net] brings a much richer set of managed services to the development environment, and it allows you to share components across applications," said Nate Quigley, president of Cambridge, Mass.-based Shelflink Inc., a Microsoft ISV that has developed a Pocket PC-based application for PepsiCo sales representatives.

One analyst said that the changes to the platform are not dramatic but that there are some noteworthy improvements.

"There aren’t as many fundamental changes to the operating system as there were between Windows NT and 2000," said Tony Iams, senior analyst at D.H. Brown Associates Inc., in Port Chester, N.Y.

Improvements in Active Directory, however, should entice some customers to upgrade. "It gives you tools to basically manage security and privileges that users have on very large networks," Iams said.

Another analyst suggested it will take enterprises time to embrace the platform.

"This isn’t people lining up atmidnightto get the software," said analyst Greg DeMichillie, senior analyst of developer tools and strategies at Kirkland, Wash.-based Directions on Microsoft Inc., which is not affiliated with Microsoft.

"These products require a long sales process," DiMichillie said.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Paul Krill

Paul Krill

InfoWorld
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?