At N+I, Microsoft announces the release of Services for Unix 3.0 and addresses reports that the adoption of its Windows 2000 server family has been slow, particularly around Active Directory.
Microsoft Corp. on Wednesday announced that its Services for Unix 3.0 product, software that allows greater operability between existing Unix-based enterprise systems and Windows on both the server and desktop, has been released to manufacturing.
In a presentation at the NetWorld+Interop 2002 trade show in Las Vegas on Wednesday, Bill Veghte, corporate vice president of Microsofts .Net Server group, said SFU 3.0 should be available through the usual Microsoft distribution channels by the end of June at a suggested retail price of $99.
Veghte also used his presentation to address analyst reports that adoption of Microsofts Windows 2000 server family has been slow, particularly around Active Directory.
Bob OBrien, group product manager in the Windows .Net Product Management Group, told eWEEK in an interview that Microsoft is starting to see Active Directory adoption in the extranet space. "While our technology could always do that, we were never seen as a leader in that space. But the tide is turning on that," he said.
He cited three customers that have deployed Active Directory in extranet implementations, including Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina, which converted 1 million users from Sun Microsystems Inc.s iPlanet, and Sallie Mae, which chose Active Directory to do authentication and directory services for 1.5 million borrowers and lenders.
Clalit Health Services recently also deployed Active Directory to authenticate its more than 3.7 million customers online, giving them the ability to access their personal medical records, schedule appointments and review test results any time, OBrien said.
He declined, however, to release any specific product numbers to back up his claims that Active Directory and Windows 2000 Server adoption is greater than widely thought.
As Microsoft moves closer to the release of the Windows .Net Server family, the company will stress the fact that this release is a continuation of the dependability, scalability and reliability improvements found in Windows 2000, he said.
Citing early customer deployments of Windows .Net Server, OBrien touted Italys Guarda di Finanza, an inspective police force under the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance, and JetBlue Airways, which has implemented a "paperless cockpit" that provides pilots with dynamically updated, electronic versions of flight manuals instead of standard paper copies.
JetBlue is also using Windows .Net Server technology to achieve greater security via the use of fingerprint biometrics embedded in smart cards, he said.
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.