By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2005-06-06 Print this article Print

-Service"> More and more of this infrastructure also has to be self-service, Ballmer said, with tools such as SharePoint Team Services already facilitating this. "More and more of what you provide can be infrastructure that IT workers can extend and provision themselves. But whatever is done in this area has to be deeply grounded in policy, so that the IT professional is given management control," he said. Shared Infrastructure Services involves presence, identity, rights management and network access, he said, with Active Directory—the most widely used directory—acting as a building block for its foundation.
Microsoft has been very successful with Active Directory, he said. "When we first brought it to market, you were slow to adopt it and sent us back to work on it. It is now the tool for single sign-on—administer your networks and get policy to work for you. It is the tool for smartcard and two-factor authentication," Ballmer said.
Microsoft is investing in Active Directory Federation Services and will ship its Windows Server 2003 RC2 in the next 12 months. "Scott McNealy, now my best friend," he quipped, took to the stage recently to demonstrate interoperability between Microsoft and Sun Microsystems Inc. "OK, so I took a little poetic license about our friendship," Ballmer joked. Click here to read more about the technical cooperation between Microsoft and Sun Microsystems. Coming this year is Windows Server 2003 R2, which will bring innovation on the branch, ADS (Automated Deployment Services) and storage fronts, as well as the Compute Cluster Edition with distributed task scheduler. Virtualization capabilities also will be built into the server itself over the next few years, Ballmer said. Microsoft also announced a set of enhancements to Exchange, with Exchange 2003 SP2 (Service Pack 2) and the Messaging and Security Feature Pack for Windows Mobile 5.0, which will enable up-to-date e-mail with direct push, a built-in feature of Exchange that pushes e-mail down to devices wirelessly. The feature pack also will give the ability to control policy on those mobile devices at no additional licensing costs since it is built into Exchange, Ballmer said. Mike Hall, technical product manager for the mobile and embedded group, took to the stage with a new Lenovo ThinkPad tablet, which was just announced Monday. Hall demonstrated how it can be used to manage, configure and erase data on a mobile device. Read more here about the Lenovo Groups ThinkPad X140 tablet. Bringing up the Longhorn desktop and going to his document folder, Hall showed attendees how theyll be able to filter content by author or keyword, and use the zoom feature to get a direct look inside any document. Next Page: Building .Net momentum.

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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