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July 25, 2002—In this issue:
1. NEWS AND VIEWS
- Windows XP Rockets to Sales of $46 Million
- Gates Evaluates Microsoft .NET, Promises Future Advances
- Microsoft Introduces Windows .NET Server CPP
- Energize Your Enterprise at MEC 2002, October 8 through 11, Anaheim, CA
- Real-World Tips and Solutions Here For You
3. CONTACT US
- See this section for a list of ways to contact us.
1. NEWS AND VIEWS
(contributed by Paul Thurrott, [email protected])
Microsoft's most recent Windows version, Windows XP, continues its torrid sales pace, the company told me today, with more than 46 million licenses sold since the product launched last October. This morning, at Microsoft's annual financial analysts meeting, Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates announced the milestone and noted that XP continues to form the foundation of the company's revenues each quarter. "This \[sales\] data follows last week's earnings announcement of Windows XP's positive contribution to last quarter, and we are thrilled with its ongoing success," said Charmaine Gravning, product manager for Windows XP.
Additionally, XP has seen unprecedented support from Microsoft's partners. More than 700 partners have designed more than 23,000 products specifically for XP—nearly three times the number of Designed for Windows products that were available at XP's launch and more than twice the number of Designed for Windows applications that became available for any previous Windows version in the same timeframe.
XP is the most recent version of Windows that Microsoft has built on the Windows NT kernel. A follow-up to XP, dubbed Windows XP Service Pack 1 (SP1), will form the basis for upcoming Windows versions such as Windows XP Tablet PC Edition and Windows XP Media Center Edition.
What if you bet the company on a new technology that no one understands, let alone uses? That's the problem facing Microsoft 2 years after the company announced its .NET strategy, with many of the company's customers still asking, "What is .NET?" So, Microsoft brought out the executive big guns, assembled 100 mainstream reporters and financial analysts in Redmond this week, and went to work trying to explain what the company is doing with its Web services vision. The result, in effect, was a .NET report card, along with a peek at the technology's future.
"Phase 1 is essentially behind us, with things that went well and not so well," Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates said. "This is a long-term approach. These things don't happen overnight." That's for sure. After 2 years, Microsoft has effectively made zero progress on .NET: The company has only two mainstream .NET products, .NET Passport and Hotmail, both of which actually predate .NET. Other technologies, such as the so-called Microsoft .NET Enterprise Servers, have little to do with .NET, regardless of the name. Gates assigned the company a "C" report-card grade for its delivery of software services thus far, although even that grade might be a bit generous. Perhaps the delivery of Visual Studio .NET earlier this year will trigger the release of more .NET-compatible products in the future.
Microsoft also sketched out an array of future products and technologies that it will build on .NET. For example, a project code-named Greenwich will provide the real-time, server-side communications muscle needed to deliver a seamless experience for desktop and Pocket PC users; Greenwich is due in mid-2003, though the company originally planned to release it as part of Win.NET Server. The oft-touted Yukon release of Microsoft SQL Server, in development for eons and now due late next year, will form the basis of the next Windows file system, a future Exchange Server data store, and the next major revision of Active Directory (AD).
The company's most compelling upcoming release, Longhorn, the next major revision of Windows, is still at least 2 years away, Gates said. This extended schedule might necessitate further interim releases of Windows, such as the new XP Service Pack 1 (SP1) release that Microsoft will field next month. But the company didn't talk a lot about Longhorn yesterday, focusing instead on the more immediate challenges it faces with .NET. Given the company's debatable accomplishments thus far, it still has a lot of work to do to excite customers about a future the company has had trouble delivering.
With the release of Windows .NET Server (Win.NET Server) Release Candidate 1 (RC1) finally behind it, Microsoft unexpectedly announced yesterday that the company would make the milestone build available for free to customers through the Win.NET Server Customer Preview Program (CPP). Under terms of the CPP, customers can download or order CD-ROM versions of Win.NET Enterprise Server (formerly Windows 2000 Advanced Server) RC1, which will expire 360 days after installation. Additionally, customers who choose the download option can access Windows .NET Standard Server (formerly Windows 2000 Server) as well.
"This product is rock-solid," says Jim Allchin, Microsoft group vice president. "We're delivering the features and improvements that our IT and developer audiences have told us they want most: improved security, greater reliability and better performance. Windows .NET Server is far easier to deploy, manage, and operate, and it includes a comprehensive set of Web application services that make it easy to build powerful, connected solutions quickly. This is the most customer-driven release of Windows Server ever."
The Win.NET Server CPP kit also includes a Win.NET Server Resource CD-ROM, a unique product key required for installation, and access to Web-based documentation and support newsgroups. For more information about the CPP, visit the Microsoft Web site.
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