Microsoft's Windows road map for the fall is taking shape. The company told financial analysts today that it will ship Windows 2000 DataCenter Server on Aug. 11 and release its new SQL Server 2000 database to production next week.
Pushing Windows 2000 is Microsoft's top goal for fiscal 2001, which began July 1, says Brain Valentine, a senior VP in Microsoft's Windows division. It's no coincidence that Internet portal Lycos Inc. said today that it's begun running Lycos Network on Windows 2000. (The first service pack, or generally released bug fix for Windows 2000, is due Aug. 1.)
The vendor will pay special attention to disseminating data and customer endorsements touting DataCenter Server as a "credible" alternative to midrange and high-end Unix servers for sophisticated computing needs. Microsoft will make the case that Windows 2000 Advanced Server is the best choice for line-of-business apps and Web sites.
On Oct. 11, Microsoft plans to release the first beta for Windows "Whistler" edition, the successor to Windows 2000. The system should be available during the second half of next year in three server editions, as well as professional and home-user desktop editions--all based on Windows NT. Today, the company's consumer operating systems cling to DOS. There will also be an embedded edition, Valentine says.
Microsoft is also stepping up software development and marketing for computing devices that use low-powered embedded chips, such as mobile phones. The company plans to ship "Powered by Windows," the first release of Windows 2000 for embedded systems, Aug. 11. The software will target a new wave of rack-mountable, single-processor servers designed to serve up Web pages, as well as network-attached storage devices.
On the enterprise server front, Microsoft next week will start pressing CD-ROMs of SQL Server 2000, which replaces version 7. Availability tends to be several weeks behind that step. Microsoft VP Chris Atkinson says revenue for SQL Server products grew 35% in fiscal 2000.