Page Two

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2003-10-09 Print this article Print

In his keynote, Ballmer announced the second version of Microsofts Software Update Server, Version 2.0, which is a corporate patch deployment server and service. The latest upgrade manages Office, Windows Server System applications and Windows. "This is the corporate equivalent of Windows Update for the corporate market," he said. It is a consistent scanning engine that will be free to all Microsoft customers and will be available in the first half of 2004. Microsoft also is extending to June 2004 its security support for Windows 2000 SP2, Windows NT 4.0 and Workstation SP6a. And, instead of remaining on the current erratic release timeframe, it will publish monthly non-emergency patches, Ballmer said.
Microsoft is publishing a book on how "Microsoft secures Microsoft," detailing what the company does to protect itself and its Windows clients and servers. "What we really want to do is make our customers resilient to attack even when patches are not installed. Our goal is to make seven of every 10 patches installable at the customers own schedule as long as they had secured the perimeter," he said, adding that Microsoft will deliver safety technologies to address this.
To address migration vulnerabilities, Microsoft will deliver its Internet Connection firewall by default and provide safer e-mail and instant messaging through more secure default settings. Microsoft will also introduce a new version of Windows XP, known as Windows XP SP2, or "XP on steroids," he said; it will be available in beta by the end of this year and RTM in the first half of next year. In order to be more effective, Ballmer said Microsoft needs to understand its weaknesses and the threats to its business. "We want to get better alignment between you and us and our partners and products. Lets get the alignment that allows us to get more effective and deliver better value to our customers. Let us also be able to better support you in delivering that benefit to the customer," Ballmer said. Microsoft is merging its classic partner community with the partner communities from the business solution partners from Great Plains and Navision, so together they can build the next great Microsoft business, he said. While Microsoft will continue to think and talk volume, it will be sensitive to preserving the ability for all partners to make money and "we want our platform to be the place where you do that," he said. Turning to the concept of integrated innovation, Ballmer said, "I am so excited about the opportunities over the next 10 years and believe that all this talk of IT being dead is pure hogwash." Microsoft is committed to integrated innovation and is spending $6.8 billion in research and development. There are a number of exciting scenarios for the future, including real-time communications, collaboration, business applications, integrity and mobility. "The truth is our products compete with other products, including open source software. If someone says Linux has better high-performance clustering capabilities, we put engineers on it and they look at how we can be better," he said. "Theres still much, much, much to do on security. Its a journey, and weve made some progress and delivered some milestones. But we have to fight this to continue to bring innovation to bear over the next 10 years," Ballmer concluded. Discuss this in the eWEEK forum.

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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