An integrated platform needs to focus on simplicity and a lower total cost of ownership, and Microsoft is working hard to make sure that its products integrate better together, added Flessner. It is focused on making sure the environment provided is familiar, fits together and installs in a familiar way, he said. The foundation for the Windows Server System is the recently released Windows Server 2003. "Were not perfect yet with regard to security, but a huge amount of effort went into this with Server 2003," Flessner said.For the demonstration, Clarity had built an end-to-end business solution for an imaginary health care provider, Contoso, which used the Tablet PC platform to capture structured and unstructured data, interacting with Server 2003. The physician could write notes, review charts and x-rays as well as the services performedall of which is pulled directly into the application and stored in the back-end database. Once the physician had signed off on the patient, the claims to the insurance company would be managed as XML forms by the claims administrator, using the Microsoft InfoPath XML forms management application, Rauschenberger said. Flessner said the application infrastructure and the infrastructure and tools for a service-oriented architecture are vital to the industry going forward, with some 50 percent of all developers currently using Microsofts Visual Studio .Net tool. Microsofts Dynamic Systems Model is also already addressing the management of applications rather than systems, which will dramatically increase simplicity, flexibility and automation across the application lifecycle, he said. Flessner concluded by confirming that Microsoft will invest more than $1.7 billion into research and development for the Windows Server System in the 2004 financial year, which starts on July 1, as well as $450 million in community-based efforts to support IT professionals and developers.
Microsoft is also committed to increasing information worker productivity while decreasing the IT support burden around this, Flessner said, bringing John Rauschenberger, the MD of Clarity Consulting, to the stage.