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April 30, 2002—In this issue:
1. NEWS AND VIEWS
- Microsoft Announces SMS 2003, Software Update Services
- Microsoft Remedy Hearings: Executive Denies Obstruction Charges
- Microsoft: Windows XP SE Isn't Happening
- Need 24 x 7 Availability?
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3. CONTACT US
- See this section for a list of ways to contact us.
1. NEWS AND VIEWS
David Hamilton, director of Microsoft's Management Business Group, opened the first Microsoft Management Summit (formerly SMS and Windows 2000 User Conference) today in Las Vegas with a keynote address that highlighted the next Systems Management Server (SMS) release and other upcoming management initiatives. The company's next change-and-configuration-management server, SMS 2003 (previously code-named Topaz), will ship in late 2002, following the beta release this summer, Hamilton told me late yesterday.
"The biggest change for this release is mobile client support," Hamilton said. "On average, 30 percent of our customers' workforces are mobile, and that figure is rising every year." SMS 2003 will also support Windows CE and the Pocket PC products, a last-minute feature addition spurred by overwhelming customer requests. "Not only are Pocket PC devices out there in the workforce, but they are the way many people do business," Hamilton said. "They contain mission-critical data and need to be secure. We never intended to support the Pocket PC in this release, but decided it was a critical feature, so we've added it into our development effort. Because we added \[Windows CE\] at the end of the development cycle, however, this feature won't make the RTM \[release to manufacturing\] date. Instead, we'll ship it as an add-on 2 to 3 months later." SMS 2003 will also integrate with Active Directory (AD), if you have it, but will work fine as a standalone server, Hamilton noted.
Microsoft also revealed the fate of the Windows Update enterprise version, which is currently in beta under the name Windows Update Corporate. The company will release the free product this summer as Software Update Services. Microsoft will also release a free add-on for SMS 2.0, the SMS 2.0 Value Pack, which will add Windows Update-style functionality to SMS and offer a slightly more sophisticated set of functionality than Software Update Services offers. "Patching clients and servers is \[the\] most common usage scenario today for SMS 2.0," Hamilton said. "These administrators use Windows Update at home, and they like the way that works."
Microsoft Vice President Robert Short took the stand in his company's remedy hearings yesterday, deflecting charges that Microsoft deliberately designed Windows to be incompatible with its competitors' software. Short, the fourth Microsoft executive to testify since Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates' media-friendly visit last week, said that complaints about interoperability from companies such as Novell, Red Hat, and Sun Microsystems are unfounded.
"I emphatically disagree with the suggestion that Microsoft deliberately introduces incompatibilities to prevent our competitors' software from working with our products," Short said during his testimony. He then listed several cooperative software interoperability projects that Microsoft has undertaken with its rivals. "Given these efforts, the notion that Microsoft 'retaliates' against software developers who do not do what Microsoft wants is completely unfounded."
Qwest Communications Vice President Gregg Sutherland bolstered Short's assertion when he explained to Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly that for Microsoft to exert its desktop PC dominance in new markets such as telephony and messaging would be impossible. According to Sutherland, earlier testimony from SBC engineer Larry Pearson, who alleged that Microsoft tried to crush his company's messaging efforts, was incorrect. "It couldn't happen," Sutherland told the judge.
In yesterday's WinInfo Daily UPDATE article titled "Next-Gen Windows Rumors Heat Up," I discussed a report from "Microsoft Windows XP—The Official Magazine" that described Windows XP Service Pack (SP1) and a purported follow-up release called XP Second Edition (SE). This publication is the second to publish information about an XP SE release since I speculated that such a product was possible back in January. However, Microsoft says XP SE isn't on the schedule. "There are no plans for Windows XP Second Edition," a Microsoft representative told me yesterday.
Microsoft will release XP SP1 this fall, and then begin the beta program for the next Windows version (code-named Longhorn). But Longhorn isn't set to ship until sometime in 2004, leaving an empty release slot in late 2003. The fact that Microsoft has shipped a new consumer Windows product every year since 1995 has led to speculation about XP SE.
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