Microsoft launches new version of server tools

Microsoft launched a new version of its server operating system with great fanfare on Wednesday, but analysts said Windows Server 2008 is an incremental update rather than a giant leap forward.

At a Los Angeles event that opened with a speech by former news anchor Tom Brokaw, Microsoft also unveiled a new edition of Visual Studio 2008, used by computer programmers to create desktop and web applications. The event also promoted a third program, Microsoft’s SQL Server 2008 database system, which won’t be available until the third quarter of this year.

The three franchises are part of Microsoft’s lucrative server and tools division, which brought in $3,28-billion in revenue in the three months ended December 31 last year — one-fifth of the company’s total revenue in the period.

Notably absent from the server launch was a final version of “Hyper-V”, a software layer that allows IT people to turn a single server computer into many virtual machines. While a beta version is available, Microsoft has said that component won’t be complete for another six months, even as chief executive Steve Ballmer touted virtualisation as one of the key trends addressed by Microsoft’s new generation of programs.

“There are a ton of really interesting features, but really no single feature that says, ‘I gotta have it,'” said Gartner analyst John Enck in an interview about Windows Server 2008.

“The only thing we’re really negative on is the late hypervisor,” he said, referring to the virtualisation technology.

Enck and other analysts pointed to new features that make the new version of server software easier for IT people to manage their companies’ armies of laptop and desktop PCs and data-centre servers.

It also added features analysts expect will appeal to people who chose open-source Linux or Unix-based servers in the past.

For example, IT people can now pick and choose different server components based on what kind of job they want a single machine to perform, reducing costs and improving security by giving hackers fewer places to attack. Microsoft also added a command-line interface familiar to open-source aficionados, as well as better support for popular free applications like the Apache web server.

“Microsoft, for the last five to 10 years, has been slowly adding capabilities that have been the domain of other operating systems,” said James Staten, an analyst for Forrester Research. “They’re doing it again.”

Microsoft said adoption of Windows Server 2008 is pinned to the rate at which companies replace old servers with new ones, and that the missing virtualisation technology won’t affect how quickly companies make the switch.

Enck, the Gartner analyst, argued that the late Hyper-V could slow adoption, as could the strength and stability of its predecessor, the “R2” update to Windows Server 2003 that the company will support until 2014. — Sapa-AP

On the net

Tom Brokaw, Steve Ballmer speak at the launch event

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Advertisting

Ndabeni-Abrahams lockdown debacle: What we know

The minister has to answer to the president after a picture was posted of her apparently breaking lockdown rules

Covid-19 grounds Nigeria’s medical tourists

The country’s elites, including the president, travelled abroad for treatment but now they must use the country’s neglected health system

Nehawu launches urgent court bid over protective gear for health...

The health workers’ union says the government has rebuffed its attempts to meet about mitigating risks to workers

Stay at home, Cyril said. But what about the homeless?

In Tshwane, forcing homeless people off the street resulted in chaos and the abuse of a vulnerable population. In Durban, a smooth, well-planned operation fared far better

Press Releases

Everyone’s talking about it. Even Kentucky

Earlier this year South African fried chicken fast-food chain, Chicken Licken®, launched a campaign for their wallet-friendly EasyBucks® meals, based on the idea of ‘Everyone’s talking about it.’

New energy mix on the cards

REI4P already has and will continue to yield thousands of employment opportunities

The online value of executive education in a Covid-19 world

Executive education courses further develop the skills of leaders in the workplace

Sisa Ntshona urges everyone to stay home, and consider travelling later

Sisa Ntshona has urged everyone to limit their movements in line with government’s request

SAB Zenzele’s special AGM postponed until further notice

An arrangement has been announced for shareholders and retailers to receive a 77.5% cash payout

20th Edition of the National Teaching Awards

Teachers are seldom recognised but they are indispensable to the country's education system

Awards affirm the vital work that teachers do

Government is committed to empowering South Africa’s teachers with skills, knowledge and techniques for a changing world