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Q&A: Microsoft's Veghte on Windows Server 2003 competition, future

By Carol Sliwa
April 25, 2003 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - Bill Veghte, vice president of Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Server group, spoke with Computerworld this week about the company's newly launched Windows Server 2003 (see story), the competition and his thinking on future releases. Excerpts from the interview follow:
Do you consider Linux to be the chief competition to Windows Server 2003? On the one hand, NT 4 is a competitive framework that I look at. Solaris is, AIX is, and Linux is.
Do you view them all equally? Windows Server has three core roles: application platform, IT infrastructure and information worker productivity, [for] large enterprise, medium-size business and small business. For each one of those, I think of the competition as different.
Where Linux is getting traction is, 'I've got a Unix app and I'm not doing any feature development on it. I want the cost efficiencies of x86. And I don't want to have to recompile the app in any significant way, etc. Linux looks interesting.' [If] I've got a simple Web server that's just serving up static HTML, Linux looks interesting. Those would be examples of app workloads predominantly in the enterprise.
Microsoft will ship some new functionality in the coming months as add-ons for Windows Server 2003. What do you think should be free, and what should be separate, for-fee products? The philosophy that I've had is anything that has been delivered, in essence, out of the box in Windows Server to date, that we're effectively improving on, is available for any licensed Windows Server 2003 customer.
An example of that would be Windows SharePoint Services. I think of Windows SharePoint Services as the next-generation file server. It would stand to reason that if I think of Windows SharePoint Services as a file server, and Windows servers are naturally file servers, that would be free for any Windows Server 2003 customer.
What about Automated Deployment Services, due in June? Automated deployment services are something that will be available to at least some set of Windows Server 2003 customers for no additional fee.
What about Windows Rights Management? Philosophically, I think of it as a new set of capabilities.
So will there be a separate fee for it? I'm not leaning one way or the other right now. We haven't closed on that.
Many older versions of Microsoft applications, including Exchange Server 2000, will not run on Windows Server 2003. What's your philosophy on that? If I want to have a technology-supplier relationship with customers for 10 or 15 or 20 years, what's the optimal thing that I can do around that experience? I want to make

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