WinInfo Daily UPDATE, August 3, 2004

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In the News

- Microsoft's Software Moves: This Time It's Personal
- Another One Bites the Dust: CeBIT 2005 Is Canceled
- Intel Ships x64 Xeon Processor

==== In the News ====

by Paul Thurrott, [email protected]

Microsoft's Software Moves: This Time It's Personal

This week, Microsoft executives began touting personalization--a new tactic in the company's bid to remain at the forefront of software design and development. In more and more of the company's high-profile projects, Microsoft is imbuing its software with the ability to react to users' needs. Two recent examples of this strategy are MSN Messenger 7, the upcoming Instant Messaging (IM) client, and Microsoft Search, the underlying technology that will power Web-based searching on MSN and hard disk-based searching in Longhorn, the next major Windows release.
The company revealed its plans for personalized IM last week at the annual Microsoft Financial Analyst Meeting. During his MSN-oriented presentation, Corporate Vice President Yusuf Mehdi noted that MSN Messenger, which has more than 135 million users, often peaks at 120 million simultaneous online chats. "Personalization \[is one\] thing that we have not yet brought to the Web; in fact, no one really has done a great job at any of the major portals in terms of personalization," Mehdi said. "As we start to get better return on investment for clients and delight customers by being able to give them targeted content, we think this will dramatically improve our business."
Mehdi demonstrated a prototype of MSN Messenger 7, which will be a major update. MSN Messenger 7 will support skins similar to those Windows Media Player (WMP) uses and Avatars, small characters that users can dress up and accessorize. MSN Messenger currently offers Avatars in Australia, South Korea, and the UK; Microsoft will extend that functionality to other markets with MSN Messenger 7.
Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates said yesterday that his company's search products will differentiate Microsoft from market-leader Google by offering personalized search results that are based on user preferences and needs. "We're going to make search extremely personal," he said, noting that the technology will tailor search results based on the information that users find most valuable. The new technology will work with both local (hard disk-based) searches and Web-based searches, Gates said.

Another One Bites the Dust: CeBIT 2005 Is Canceled

First COMDEX, and now CeBIT America. This week, Hannover Fairs USA announced that it is canceling the CeBIT America 2005 trade show, which was to have been held in New York City in June 2005. The show organizer cited revenue concerns as the reason.
"Though regrettable, this is the correct business decision," Hannover Fairs USA President Joachim Schafer said. "It is really a reflection of a changing high-tech industry as well as the overall US economy." CeBIT America 2004, the second CeBIT trade show to be held in the United States, drew only 15,000 attendees.
Hannover Fairs USA will continue to run other CeBIT shows, including the original CeBIT, which is held in Hannover, Germany. That show is the largest technical trade show in the world, according to the company. Other scheduled shows include CeBit Asia; CeBit Australia; CeBit Bilisim Eurasia; CeBit Broadcast, Cable & Satellite; and International Satellite & Communications (ISCe).

Intel Ships x64 Xeon Processor

Intel made its first foray into the world of x64 computing this week when the company released the first Intel microprocessors to take advantage of the massive 64-bit address space. Intel's new x64 Xeon chips are compatible with earlier 64-bit processors from AMD, including the AMD Athlon 64 and AMD Opteron. Servers based on x64 processors can mix and match 32-bit and 64-bit OSs and applications, all of which run at full speed.
"Availability of Intel's new server platforms with Extended Memory 64 Technology \[EM64T\] marks an exciting milestone that will accelerate customer adoption of 64-bit computing," Bob Muglia, senior vice president of the Windows Server Division, said. "The performance and scalability benefits of 64-bit Windows Server 2003 and SQL Server 2005 on Intel Xeon processor-based systems enable Microsoft and Intel to deliver the benefits of 64-bit technology while providing customers investment protection and an easy migration path from today's 32-bit applications."
The new Xeon processors feature Intel's EM64T technology, which the chips use to address far more memory than the 32-bit designs' 4GB limit. Intel has also added unique features to its designs in a bid to differentiate them from AMD's processors. For example, the new Xeon processors feature Demand Based Switching with Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology to dynamically adjust the processor's power use.
Intel is also shipping new Intel E7520 and E7230 chipsets, which support high-end memory and PCI Express, for its x64 processors. The new Xeon chips currently top out at 3.6GHz, although versions are available starting at 2.8GHz, Intel says. Yesterday, several PC makers, including Dell, HP, and IBM, unleashed server systems that feature the new processor and chipsets. The missing factor is Windows. Although Microsoft is currently beta testing an x64 version of Windows 2003, the final version of that product won't ship until early 2005 at the earliest. So customers who purchase x64-based servers today will receive the currently available 32-bit version of Windows Server.

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