Windows versus Windows

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2008-02-28 Print this article Print

Windows versus Windows

One of the most interesting aspects of the negative perception of Windows Vista versus the positive reception of Windows Server 2008 is that they are both built from the same code base, Muglia said.

While there are significant differences between the codes for the two products, about 80 percent of the core code is shared, and that core code is "rock solid," he said.

Among the popular features Muglia and his development team crafted with Windows Server 2008 was to make it very easy to run in a customer's existing environment, making it simple to introduce Windows Server 2008 next to their other servers.

"With Vista there are some game drivers and other applications, which makes the upgrade a little bit harder, and that is one of the differences," Muglia said.

Muglia said the core of Windows Server 2008 is, essentially, a 2008 Workstation product. "That's the funny thing," he said. "The core is the same core, literally. With Vista SP1 it is one code base, off one set of build trees."

Timing Was Not Simple

Microsoft also did not want another five-year release cycle between products, as had happened with Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, as that lowered its ability to be agile. "I don't want to go through the whole story of why it happened this time, but it won't again, on either the client or server," Ballmer said.

But timing was not a simple issue as the time-period between releases where the engine was fine tuned and functionality was added would be longer than when the core capabilities were not touched, he said.

Two to three years between releases on the client would be ideal, but Windows Live did bring the ability for more frequent releases, with releases every three years on the server side would be optimal. But there could be a minor release in-between the major releases every three years, he said.

"It is ironic," Ballmer said, "that everything in the Windows Server 2008 release is integrated, but can be deintegrated, which is what server core is all about. Let me just call that as ironic."


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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