Microsoft plots how to improve the platform over the long haul.
With Windows Server 2003 just a month out of the gates, Microsoft Corp. is already looking at ways to deliver add-on technologies and wrestling with the issue of how to price these technologies. "There is some deep thinking and strong consideration going on inside the server team about how to best stage future releases and what the core elements of our strategy should be," said Jay Jamison, director of product planning for the Windows Server division, in Redmond, Wash.
According to Jamison, one of the ways Microsoft intends to deliver some of that functionality is through an "out-of-band" mechanism, where new technologies and tools are delivered between major server releases.
Out-of-band technologies could range from tools and things such as the group policy management console to layered add-on services, such as the Real-Time Communications Server, he said.
Sources close to Microsoft said the company is expected to release several out-of-band upgrades to Windows Server 2003 this year, including an iSCSI initiator, Network Attached Storage 3.0, Small Business Server 2003, Windows Virtual Server and Windows Server 2003 for Advanced Micro Devices Inc.s processors. When asked about the list, Jamison said, it "sounds about right."
When it comes to large-enterprise customers, some are willing to pay for additional technology rather than have it built into the core operating system.
"We like the idea of being able to choose what functions we want to install on top of the operating system. In some ways, it would be less problematic than having all of this built into the core kernel," said Jeff ODell, vice president of architecture for health benefits provider Cigna Corp., in Bloomington, Conn. "But, on the other hand, if functionality is already built into the operating system, we can just turn it on if we want."
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 www.eweek.com.