Microsoft Gives Glimpse at Product Roadmap

Senior VP Paul Flessner offers a look at future Microsoft releases-including Yukon and Longhorn.

NEW ORLEANS—Microsoft Corp. senior executive Paul Flessner gave attendees at the companys Worldwide Partner Conference here Friday a taste of the future by laying out a product roadmap that included Yukon and Longhorn.

Yukon, the next version of Microsofts SQL Server database, is slated for a late 2004 release; Longhorn, the next Windows update, will be released in both the client and Longhorn Office editions in 2005, with Windows Longhorn Server due in 2006; and another SQL Server release, code-named Arcadia, is due in 2006 and beyond.

In his keynote address, Flessner, a senior vice president at Microsoft, also said the company will offer a free add-on next year for users of its Small Business Server 2003 Premium Edition, known as BizTalk Server 2004 Partner Edition.

Turning to the competitive landscape, Flessner said Microsoft intends to take market share from Linux on the server side, and he was unable to resist taking a swipe at Linux and its legal battle with The SCO Group.


"The Linux community had proven they can copy features and do so incredibly efficiently, for which they are now getting into trouble. But they cant copy the integration and innovation Microsoft brings," he said.

Windows Server today runs on 62 percent of servers around the world. But IT budgets will not continue to grow every year, and Microsoft has to do more than ask companies for more money for new products every year, Flessner said.

More than 60 percent of IT costs over a five-year period were people costs, he said, acknowledging that Microsoft has to do a better job on security and patch management. But reducing customers people costs through product innovation is a goal for Microsoft and the Windows Server System, he said.

Flessner also reiterated Microsofts commitment to add value through the life of a product by adding features and functionality on an incremental basis. "There is more and more and more to come," he said.

Microsoft is also exploring delivering third-party patches via the upcoming Microsoft Update, which is due next year, and will deliver updates for all products other than for Windows, he said.