Microsoft Mulls Price Layers - Page 2

A few prerequisites for Lockheed Martins IT infrastructure were a secure and robust infrastructure with identity and access management, a network with sufficient bandwidth and quality of service to facilitate machine-to-machine interaction, applications designed for mobile users and the exposure of legacy applications to Web services.

"Thats where Server 2003 becomes very important to us. Its also more secure out of the box," Villinger said. "The integration of the .Net Framework is key for us as that provides the integral and built-in capabilities of XML in the context of Web services."

Lockheed Martin has been prototype-testing RTC, which requires Server 2003 to run, as a Joint Development Partner with Microsoft. According to Villinger, Microsoft has made it clear that the instant messaging capabilities that are now part of Exchange 2000 will be pulled out of the platform and become part of RTC.

That was one of the main motivations behind Lockheed Martins decision to move to RTC, Villinger said, adding that the second phase of RTC will include conferencing and multimedia capabilities.

But other large-enterprise customers disagree and say theyd prefer to pay for additional technology at times rather than have it built into the core operating system.

Jeff ODell, vice president of architecture for health benefits provider Cigna Corp., in Bloomington, Conn., said he is willing to pay for additional layered services because of the flexibility to choose among them.

That would be less problematic than having them all built into the core operating system, he said. Still, ODells feelings are mixed.

"If things are incorporated in and free, and we think were going to leverage them, to us thats goodness as we get more functionality that we can just turn on versus the effort of installing something thats separate," ODell said.