SAN FRANCISCO—Windows Server 2003 is the most significant work Microsoft has ever done in terms of what it means for the IT infrastructure and datacenter, Steve Ballmer, Microsofts CEO, told attendees at the launch of Windows Server 2003 here on Thursday.
"This is a very significant piece of work and the highest quality release of Windows Server ever. It is not just a small, incremental release of the operating system, it is a breakthrough in terms of security, manageability and the innovations it brings to software developers and information workers who need to collaborate," Ballmer said.
The theme of the product release was "doing more with less," and Ballmer said this is "absolutely the right time to be bringing new innovation to the marketplace, a view that is shared by our customers. IT managers have to do more with less today, and that is one of the biggest challenges faced by Microsoft and its customers alike."
This was evidenced by the some 200,000 people attending the global launches of the three products: the Windows Server 2003 family, a new version of Visual Studio .Net and a 64-bit edition of SQL Server 2000, he said.
Microsoft has worked with more than 100 joint development partners on the product, there are already more than 10,000 production deployments, and about 1 million beta copies have been issued, Ballmer said.
Turning to security, Ballmer said that Microsoft "got the message loud and clear from customers that security is the number one priority. Windows Server 2003 is secure by design, and we have invested $200 million in this. It is secure by default, with 60 percent less attack surface area by default compared to Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 3. There will also be less security issues going forward," Ballmer promised.
Windows Server 2003 also improves information worker productivity—by giving access yet protecting information—it gives an enhanced desktop experience and allows far greater team collaboration and communication, Ballmer said.
"Windows SharePoint Team Services will be included in the product going forward and will be made available to all those customers who have bought the new server product. It will allow people to find and share information off the Windows server more easily," he said.