Turning to the .Net distributed application platform, Muglia said it was designed to reduce complexity across applications, particularly as the world has moved from stand-alone to connected systems. "To pull together Web services, things like service orientation, federated identity, integrated workflow and federated data have all been included in Windows Server R2," Muglia said. "The technology that will deliver these distributed Web services and improve the productivity of developers in Longhorn is known as Indigo."Microsoft also is looking to "revolutionize" things on the storage front, but these changes will take time, Muglia said. He said in about six years, laptops will have a terabyte of built-in storage, but that change will facilitate having a huge amount of corporate and personal data on the machineand that data will need to be completely protected. Microsoft is working on intelligent distributed storage. One way to do this is through cached client storagebeing done in Longhorn on the clientthrough which all files are simply caches of the locally stored data. Users always will be able to access the local cache, which will be prepopulated and will allow differential replication and background sync, Muglia said, adding that Microsoft was continuing to work on its WinFS (Windows File System) in this regard. With regards to management, Muglia said people are the primary cost in maintaining systems for users, so Microsofts goal is to help drive down those costs. "We believe that, by using model-based management, we can drive down those costs as well as create consistent policies across an organization and provide a dynamic environment," he said. Key technologies for achieving this are the Systems Definition Model, which can be created by Visual Studio 2005. Longhorn also will consume these models. "Microsoft is in a very unique position to drive this forward through products like Visual Studio, Longhorn and Microsoft Operations Manager [MOM]." Muglia also named virtualization as a vital management technology going forward, and said this will be built into Windows and will be available shortly after Longhorn ships. While Microsofts Virtual Server product has already been released, an update due later this year will include a management pack, a licensed virtual hard disk, support for Linux and other operating systems, and support for 64-bit computing . On the virtualization front, Longhorn will have a built-in hypervisor, Muglia said. Microsoft is turning its attention toward simplifying administration and focusing on about 20 different workloads, while at the same time being committed to providing the best solution for each of those workloads. "Our success depends on your success," he said. "A great competition" is going on between Windows and Linux on the x86 platform, Muglia said, with Microsoft working hard to do a better job than Linux in every area and with every workload, he said. Muglia closed by saying that the Microsoft promise is unique, and that the company is able to meet individual requirements through its customer focus. "But we are a software company, and we will drive costs down through this. We also make things mainstream and available to everyone in their environment, and we also focus on integration and a consistent user environment," he said. But Microsoft is aware that it cannot do this alone, Muglia said. "We realize that all of this can only be done through a broad ecosystem. The next five to 10 years are exciting, and the promise is phenomenal for the applications that you can produce." Check out eWEEK.coms for Microsoft and Windows news, views and analysis.
Read more here about Indigo, which Microsoft calls "a natural extension to the .Net Framework."