The Road to Blackcomb

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2003-05-07 Print this article Print

The Road to Blackcomb
Dave Thompson, corporate vice president of the Windows Server group, meanwhile, gave a road map for the Windows Server product in his keynote, titled "Windows Server Futures." Thompson made no reference to a Longhorn server edition, saying that the next server release will be Blackcomb, the release to follow Longhorn. There has been a lot of interest in the possibility of a Longhorn server release, ever since Microsoft Windows Server Senior Vice President Brian Valentine suggested earlier this year that there would be such a release.
But other server executives immediately backtracked, saying there might be some type of Longhorn Limited server release or some other type of technology "bundle." In a recent interview with eWEEK, Bill Veghte, corporate vice president of Microsofts Windows Server group, said some type of release is possible in that timeframe.
During his talk, Poole also said that the IT industrys problem is not the bad economy, anemic IT spending or slipping PC sales, but rather that consumers and enterprises believe that the technology they currently have is enough to meet their needs. Poole said Microsoft and the rest of the industry are responsible because they are not giving customers compelling enough reasons to upgrade or buy new technology. "We have to build products and technologies that give people a reason to upgrade and become emerged in the new technology," he said. Gamers are a good set of customers for Microsoft, with 49 percent of Window gamers buying a new PC in the past 12 months and 24 percent in the last six months, while 68 percent use a discrete graphics card, he said. The industry also needs to use experience-based engineering to drive sales into higher price ranges. This need is indicated by the fact that, in 1998, 15 percent of all PC systems sold for $1,000 or less, while in 2002 some 76 percent of all systems sold for $1,000 or less. The growth of Microsoft products like the Media Center PC and Tablet PC is driving customers to higher priced products as they offer them new experiences, he said. Turning to Windows Server initiatives, Thompson said the key initiatives for Windows Server going forward include improving management and simplicity and enabling automation. Microsoft will be investing in its Dynamic Systems Initiative, consolidation technologies, Windows Storage Technologies and Small Business Server 2003, he said. In the timeframe of the Longhorn Windows client release (2004 to 2005), Microsoft will develop custom System Definition Model (SDM) applications that are validated at design time, with that validation compatible with the data center environment, Thompson said. Those custom SDM applications could then be deployed across a dynamic data center. Then, in the 2006 to 2007 timeframe, roughly that of Blackcomb, are a number of supported scenarios. These include custom and third–party applications with built-in automation, fully automated software and resource provisioning, and business policy that directly drives changes in applications and resources, he said. Enabling industry innovation through partnerships is a key goal for Microsoft and involves key challenges like sustainable innovation, flexible solution platforms and frictionless deployment, Thompson said. News From WinHEC:
For more on WinHEC, check out our special section.

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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