Microsoft Opens Windows Server 2003 Page 2

Addressing Security
Microsoft has been waiting for some time now to formalize its .NET strategy. Originally due out in 2001, the company put everything on hold while it spent more than $200 million and a lot of time on its Trustworthy Computing Initiative.

It remains to be seen whether the strategy will work given Microsoft's losing track record for security holes. However, Windows Server 2003 does include improvements on standard security technologies found in Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 2000 such as Kerberos, Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) and Smart Card logon.

"Does that mean there will never be another issue? I can't say that," said Ballmer. "But what I can say is that there will be fewer issues and better processes to address when things come about."

The Encrypting File System (EFS) and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) have also been improved in Windows Server 2003. Microsoft also has included integration with Microsoft Passport for Web-based authentication and security.

Partners Rally Around
The releases also mark the return of the Wintel (define) alliance. Earlier in April, Intel, one of Microsoft's oldest and most important partners, said Windows Server 2003 would support Intel's Itanium 2 family of 64-bit processors, marking the first formal release of the operating system supporting the Itanium product family. That means no more 'limited editions' will be required for Itanium support under Windows.

The 64-bit Windows Server 2003 on the IA-64 architecture will be available beginning with the launch Thursday, while support for AMD's recently released x86-64 architecture will follow in the coming months.

Other key partners making their presence known at the event include, IBM, Dell Computer, Hewlett-Packard, Fujitsu, Unisys, Borland, SAP, Siebel, VERITAS, Accenture, Citrix, Legato and Crystal Decisions.

NEC, for example, said it would immediately offer its entire line of NEC Express5800 servers with Microsoft Windows Server 2003 preinstalled.

Also as proof of its mettle in the mainframe space, Microsoft and Intel boasted HP's latest Superdome is now the world's fastest single-system reaching a TPC-C (OLTP) benchmark result of 658,277 transactions per second running Microsoft's OS over Intel's Madison chips.

Ballmer was pleased with the result.

"This means no more toy operating systems," he said.

IDC Research Vice President Jean Bozman says the fact that Window Server 2003 can scale is proof that Microsoft has certainly made process in this space.

"But keep in mind that to hit that benchmark, Microsoft had to wait for Intel to build Itanium and HP to build its Superdome."

To help with the adoption, Microsoft is now staging an international road show in tandem with IBM, Dell, HP, Intel and others to convince IT managers to migrate from Windows NT and 2000 to the new server-based software.

This article was originally published on Apr 25, 2003
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