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By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2003-06-30 Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


The place where users get incremental value with Office 2003 is in the SharePoint scenario. As the product stresses simplicity, Microsoft is hoping that this will be the server release that breaks down the server adoption barriers in small businesses and help drive that adoption. "As such, we decided to introduce the even lower-end standard version of the product. "There is relatively low server adoption among small businesses, with just 19 percent of U.S. based small businesses using server technology even though 66 percent of them have more than one PC," Hunter said.
As such, Microsoft had conducted extensive research to see what it would do to break down those barriers. End users wanted to be able to find, share, communicate and access business data. They also wanted exposure to the functionality available to them, she said.
For Microsoft, that meant defining scenarios and really exposing these to end users who were probably not trained. This meant providing an end-to-end solution as well as a lot of step-by-step help for them. Microsoft had also built an end-to-end solution that allowed users to back-up all their data and that addressed the day-to-day availability of their information and provided a solution and help with those system components they also needed to monitor. More than 500 beta testers have been evaluating the product and providing feedback. But there are also five customers involved in a Joint Development Process around the product. Many Microsoft executives and other company officials are also testing the Small Business Server by running it as their home server. Microsoft will also now be kicking off a training program around the product for its channel partners, Hunter said.


 
 
 
 
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.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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