Microsoft focuses on Service

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2005-01-03 Print this article Print

Pack"> If Sun has one advantage over Windows, Linux and other Unix implementations, it may be in security. Ryan Durante, a program manager for the Air Force Research Laboratory, in Rome, N.Y., which manages the DODIIS (Department of Defense Intelligence Information System Infrastructure), is currently shifting thousands of intelligence analysts desktops to Sun Ray hardware running Trusted Solaris.

This initiative for the Defense Intelligence Agency is known as the DODIIS Trusted Workstation program.

"We do use Windows as well as other versions of Unix. But, in our Opinion, Trusted Solaris is the most secure operating system out there. We expect this move to yield tremendous administrative savings and to be more secure," Durante said. The move will help enable the DIA, which manages about 30,000 desktops across more than 900 sites, to consolidate to five data centers by late 2008, he said.

Sun, however, is also collaborating more with Microsoft due to the companies legal settlement last year, which could enable Microsoft to lure some business away from Sun, Muglia said. "Sun is now building x86 boxes, and you can run Windows quite well on those boxes. This is the first time we have seen a Sun box running Windows," he said.

But competitive threats or not aside, Microsofts Server teams focus for this quarter is getting Windows Server Service Pack 1 out the door. The SP1 Release Candidate was made available early last month. "We feel great about that; the landing gear is down, and we can see the runway. We are doing well on that release, which is our focus," Muglia said.

One new feature in SP1 is the security configuration wizard, which locks down systems, Muglia said. Moving into next quarter, Microsoft will get closer to the second, and final, beta for Windows Server Release 2, Muglia said.

In the second half of the year, the company will focus on finishing off the R2 release and releasing the first beta for the next version of Windows, code-named Longhorn, and preparing for Microsofts Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles in September, said Muglia.

While it is still too early to know exactly what features will be in that early beta release, Muglia said Longhorn is based on the Server 2003 SP1 code base, which is "incredibly stable [and] 64-bit-enabled. A lot of work has gone into role-based management of that code base, and there are many features on the plate around management, infrastructure, reducing reboots and allowing people to target very specific configurations. We are very much on track for a 2007 delivery," he said.

But customers seem unexcited about this focus, except for the security-related improvements that will come. Programmer Riley said his company has no plans to be the first to migrate to Longhorn, "so we really do not care when the beta comes out. We will probably be dragged, kicking and screaming into it around 2010."

Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest open-source news, reviews and analysis.

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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