By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2004-02-09 Print this article Print

Microsoft is looking to help customers manage costs by enabling and preconfiguring all its server products for Microsoft Operations Manager support, Olague said.

"This makes our server infrastructure much easier to manage," Olague said, adding that although there is skepticism about Microsofts use of the words "integrated innovation," Windows Server System makes that concept real for users.

Some users, such as Dave Lifka, chief technology officer for the Cornell Theory Center at Cornell University, in Ithaca, N.Y., agree. Not only are the Microsoft solutions cheaper to support and maintain, Lifka said, they are also not necessarily more costly upfront than their competitors, including Linux.

The Cornell Theory Center, an interdisciplinary research center, runs 1,000 servers and migrated from Unix to Windows in 2000.

"[Microsoft] ramped up their efforts to meet our needs by developing even more integrated tools for developers to use," Lifka said. "We are also excited about all the things in Longhorn. The environment keeps getting richer and more integrated. We chose Windows because we wanted to make it easier for our users to have access to HPC [high-performance computing].

Latest features

  • Improved security
  • WinFX managed APIs
  • WinFS file system based on relational database technology
  • New user interface technologies based on DirectX
  • Avalon presentation and UI design subsystem
  • Indigo communications architecture
  • "We wanted our users to have an integrated development and security environment so that when they developed code, they were integrated in, and there wasnt any porting or modifying involved," Lifka said. "Things like Visual Studio .Net, .Net and Longhorn make a big difference, and our push for Windows has worked out well."

    But the moves are not necessarily winning new converts to Microsoft. An IT consultant for a large pharmaceuticals company based in Rhode Island that has decided to use Sun Microsystems Inc.s J2EE (Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition) technology rather than Microsofts .Net said he had no second thoughts.

    "We already have a number of projects for which we use J2EE in production," the consultant said. "I cant say Im terribly interested in Microsofts latest plans to link its various server software systems together."

    "Part of the problem is that while this would make all the parts of a pure-Microsoft shop interoperate, it wont help us here. That would involve undoing too much multiplatform work and replacing too much non-Microsoft infrastructure," the consultant said.

    Microsoft needs to worry less about how it could knit pure-Windows shops more tightly together and worry more about how to work with common standards, he said.

    But Microsoft, for its part, is aggressively pushing the message that its Windows Server System allows customers to do more with less, and its upcoming global multimillion-dollar advertising program for Windows Server System is designed to put a more human face on this. This latest ad campaign plays into the recently announced Get the Facts campaign, which is designed to show the merits of Windows Server over Linux and focuses on third-party evidence that compares Microsoft platforms with Linux.

    Check out eWEEK.coms Windows Center at windows.eweek.com for Microsoft and Windows news, views 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 www.eweek.com.


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