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
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Paul Krill

InfoWorld
Show Comments

Essentials

Mobile

Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?