Windows Server Gets a New Name

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2003-01-09 Print this article Print

Microsoft drops the .Net in the official name of its upcoming Windows Server.

Microsoft Corp. on Thursday moved to further clarify the naming and branding strategy around its .Net, or software-as-a-service, strategy. The Redmond, Wash., software firm told staff and partners this week that its goal with the move is to help customers easily identify those products that interoperate and connect via Web service standards, while making it simpler for its partners to link to the strategy. In line with this, Microsoft has decided that a more consistent product naming and branding approach is necessary and has started the ball rolling with the upcoming Windows server family, which will be officially released at an event in San Francisco on April 24.
The server started out under the code-name Whistler, before Microsoft announced it would officially be known as Windows 2002 Server. A few months later Microsoft said the product would officially be known as Windows .Net Server.
As the products release kept being extended from the original December 2001 launch date—mainly due to implementation of the companys Trustworthy Computing initiative, which required all code to be scrutinized for bugs and all engineers to be trained in writing secure code—the product was renamed Windows .Net Server 2003 last August. The latest name change underscores the problems Microsoft is having explaining the concept of .Net to customers. "No one has yet been able to properly explain what .Net actually is and give me an example of what Web Services really are. I just dont understand why I should be jumping for joy about .Net in the enterprise," an MIS for a large metals company in Pittsburgh, told eWEEK. A source within Microsoft admitted to eWEEK that the team had reluctantly agreed to change the product by removing .Net in the server name. "We had all the right intentions to communicate what was in the product, but it risked looking like it was everything to everybody," the source said. But Bob OBrien, a group product manager in the Windows Server Division, told eWEEK on Thursday that Microsoft had decided to drive an overall effort to clarify the naming and branding strategy around .Net. "Realistically the support for Web services is becoming ubiquitous across our entire product line, so the .Net team felt that moving toward a consistent naming and branding strategy would better enable partners to affiliate with it and would also allow customers to easily identify .Net enabled products," he said. "The result of implementing this means the next version of Windows Server will be renamed Windows Server 2003. It certainly simplifies the products naming and, at the same time, reconciles it with the branding strategy for .Net. It is the right thing to do and, to be clear, the move has no effect on the server ship schedule," he said. In addition, those Microsoft products and services that support standards-based interoperability will ship with the new ".Net Connected" logo, which indicates that products ability to easily and consistently connect disparate information, systems and devices to meet the needs of individuals and organizations, he said. Windows Server 2003 will be the first product to have this logo. Microsoft will also create a .Net Connected Directory to provide a central location where customers can find, and partners can showcase, software and services qualified for the .Net Connected Logo Program. In another, unrelated move, Bill Gates, Microsofts chairman and chief software architect, used his keynote address at the 2003 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Wednesday to report that more than 89 million Windows XP licenses have been sold on new PCs and through retail upgrades and full packaged product since the October 2001 launch. This, Gates said, made it the fastest-selling operating system in history. (Editors Note: This story has been updated since its original posting to include comments from Microsoft.)
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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