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By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2002-07-29 Print this article Print

: The Linux Threat"> There was also little mention of the threat of Linux and other open-source technologies. This despite the fact that Covalent Technologies Inc. earlier in the week rolled out a server based on the open-source platform Apache 2.0 that lets developers create applications via ASP.Net that run on Apache systems.

In an interview, Charles Fitzgerald, general manager of Microsofts .Net platform strategies, said Linux is a threat "if we stand still. They take everything we do and implement that. The [open-source] Mono Project is a clone of what we handed over to [the European standards body] European Computer Manufacturers Association. You dont see any innovation or leadership coming out of that space."

DeBona disagreed, saying Covalents announcement and the Mono Project give "some significant cross-platform implications that now become a part of the .Net world."

Still, some analysts and customers agreed that Microsoft is on the right track. Gigas Rymer is impressed that Microsoft is using Web services technology in every aspect of its business. "What I also saw was very Microsoft," he said. "A lot of applications they showed us were not about building transactional systems or big distributed environments. It was all about simplification. They used XML to make the environment very, very simple."

DeBona said Microsofts moves to date are positive developments that will improve acceptance of .Net in environments where only Java is currently allowed. "If these plans work as promised, it should be a very bright future for .Net," he said.

Microsoft executives also unveiled the much-delayed Release Candidate 1 of the Windows .Net Server family and other technical developments to come.

"We see this as the first product in the next wave of new applications because it has integrated the .Net Framework," said Bob OBrien, group product manager for the Windows Server division. "Its integrated a whole set of new capabilities that developers can tap into and exploit today."

On the server front, Microsoft is on the path to deliver the .Net Server family by years end, said Jim Allchin, group vice president of Microsofts Platforms Group.

But Microsoft still has more infrastructure to build. A critical piece is under development and code-named Greenwich.

"Its a real-time communications environment that will be available on .Net Server," Allchin said. "Greenwich is sort of the umbrella project that is really about looking at all of the real-time communication and collaboration capabilities going on in Microsoft."

"Real-time communication and collaboration is the problem space that customers are looking for solutions [for]," he added. "Were working on what technologies we can package up and get to customers in Greenwich so we can solve some specific problems in the Windows .Net Server time frame. We havent completed the road map, but we should be in pretty good shape by early fall."

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    Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

    He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

    He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

    He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

    He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

    He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

    His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

    For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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