Microsoft – Inremental innovation as well as integrated innovation

Microsoft has made much of its “integrated innovation” value proposition.  But for many enterprises its incremental release of feature packs is probably of more interest.  This is evident when you look at both XP and 2003 Server, but 2003 server is the more impressive of the two. 

So far Microsoft have released the following feature packs:

Automated Deployment Services (ADS). Available as a download, ADS for Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition, includes a new set of imaging tools that enable you to automate the deployment of Microsoft operating systems.

Active Directory Application Mode (ADAM). For organizations that require flexible support for directory-enabled applications, ADAM is a breakthrough in directory services technology based on the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP).

File Replication Services (FRS) Monitoring Tools. A number of tools are available for managing FRS, the replication engine that keeps Distributed File System (DFS) shares synchronized, including both continuous monitoring tools, such as Ultrasound and Sonar, and snapshot troubleshooting tools such as FRSDiag.

Group Policy Management Console (GPMC). GPMC simplifies the management of Group Policy by making it easier to understand, deploy, manage, and troubleshoot Group Policy implementations.

Identity integration. Identity Integration Feature Pack for Microsoft Windows Server Active Directory manages identities and coordinates user details across Active Directory, ADAM, Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server, and Exchange Server 2003 implementations, enabling you to combine identity information for a given user or resource into a single, logical view.

iSCSI support. Available as a free download, the Internet Small Computer System Interface (iSCSI) software initiator package works with the Windows platform to help provide low-cost, highly efficient IP-based storage area networks (SANs).

Windows SharePoint Services. Windows SharePoint Services sites take file storage to a new level, providing communities for team collaboration and making it easy for users to work together on documents, tasks, contacts, events, and other information.

Services for UNIX 3.5. Available as a free download, Services for UNIX 3.5 provides services that enable seamless interoperability with UNIX servers, such as an NFS and NIS server, as well as tools and services to help customers migrate applications from UNIX to Windows.

Windows Rights Management Services (RMS). A milestone of trustworthy computing, RMS is an information protection technology that works with RMS-enabled applications to help safeguard digital information from unauthorized use.

Microsoft plan a number of additions over the next 2 years, whilst we wait with baited breath for Longhorn.

Second Half 2004: Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 and Windows Server 2003 64-bit betas
First Half 2005: Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1, Windows Server 2003 64-bit Editions and Windows Update Services
Second Half 2005: Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Storage Server R2, Windows Server 2003 High Performance Edition and Windows “Longhorn” Server Beta 1
2006: Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 and Windows “Longhorn” Server Beta 2
2007: Windows “Longhorn” Server

It looks like Microsoft is learning three difficult lessons, first it needs to keep its volume licence holders happy, second enterprises don’t like big changes and finally – maybe those Unix/Linux had something with their modular architecture after all!  For more details check out Microsoft’s site here.


Steve Richards

I'm retired from work as a business and IT strategist. now I'm travelling, hiking, cycling, swimming, reading, gardening, learning, writing this blog and generally enjoying good times with friends and family

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