Microsoft Touts Win Server 2003 Sales

Microsoft sold triple as many units of the Windows Server 2003 family in the 90 days since its launch than it did of Windows 2000 over the same period, according to Microsoft officials.

Microsoft Corp. sold triple as many units of the Windows Server 2003 family in the 90 days since its launch than it did of Windows 2000 over the same period, Bob OBrien, group product manager for Windows .Net Server, told eWEEK on Wednesday.

"In terms of the overall mix of our shipments, weve seen a doubling over what we saw with Windows 2000. So, by all measures, this product is really going out the door. Triple the sales of Windows 2000 is really gratifying for us," he said, but declined to specify the number of units sold or to indicate which of the server products was selling the most.

Evaluations of Windows Server 2003 have also continued unabated since the launch 90 days ago, with more than 500,000 evaluation copies downloaded since launch, bringing the total number of evaluation copies distributed to 2.4 million since the program started last fall, he said.

A recent Netcraft study reported that there are now 100,000 active Web sites running Windows Server 2003, which marks a 300 percent growth since launch. "The momentum of people moving over to IIS 6.0 has really gone through the roof.

"The study also says that 8,000 Web sites have also switched during that time frame from Apache/Linux-based systems to IIS 6. That was not any one provider, but represented seven different providers, three of which accounted for the largest number of those migrations," OBrien said.

Asked about ongoing speculation in the open-source and Linux community that Microsofts recent purchase of a Unix license from The SCO Group is helping fund SCOs campaign against Linux and helping Microsoft win new server deals, OBrien said Microsoft has worked extremely hard to reach out to customers. At launch alone, it had reached out to 175,000 people at 183 events worldwide and had already trained more than 138,000 customers and partners on Windows Server 2003.

"With Windows 2000 we had 17 certified applications at the 90-day mark. With Server 2003, we have 96 today with hundreds more waiting to go through the process. Customers, partners and the industry are leading the way. People are really seeing the value, and we are out there every day earning their business, from Web servers to line of business and file and print servers," he said.

Microsoft is also seeing customers running Unix, Linux and NT4 switch to Server 2003. "The reality is that customers are seeing the work we put into the product in terms of capabilities, functionality and security. For us its been all about listening to what customers were saying they needed and responding to that in kind. Every win has been hard fought," OBrien said.

Microsoft will also deliver in the third and fourth quarters a range of new functionality to Server 2003 through feature packs. Technologies such as Active Directory Application Mode, Automated Deployment Service, Windows SharePoint Services, as well as Redmonds rights management and Virtual Server products will be delivered in this way, he said, adding that no pricing decision has been made in this regard.

OBrien also ducked answering directly whether Microsoft plans a server release to coincide with the release of the next version of the Windows client, code-named Longhorn, saying that the company is "committed to releasing a server product every three years, and the Longhorn client release falls into that timeframe.

"So, whether someone puts a project code name on that of Longhorn hasnt been addressed authoritatively, but its reasonable to assume that we will put a server product out in that timeframe that may be called the Longhorn release," he said.