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Flessner Updates Microsoft Product Roadmap

DALLAS -- Microsoft senior vice president Paul Flessner used his TechEd keynote Monday to update Microsoft's roadmap for its enterprise products for the next four years or so.

As part of a comprehensive roadmap, Flessner unveiled several milestones and new items:

  • Exchange Server 2003 Release Candidate 1 is immediately available. The product is currently supposed to be released to manufacturing sometime in the second half of July. (See related story).
  • Windows Storage Server 2003 will be released to manufacturing in June. The product is a follow-on to a network-attached storage (NAS) version of Windows that has been through several release cycles and is built into NAS devices from several vendors.
  • SQL Server Reporting Services, originally scheduled for the SQL Server "Yukon" release, will instead be available sooner for SQL Server 2000 customers. A beta is coming this fall, and the technology is supposed to be finished by year end.
  • BizTalk Server 2004 Beta is available now. BizTalk Server 2004 is the first deliverable in the new "Jupiter" product, which will combine BizTalk Server, Commerce Server and Content Management Server.
  • A huge price drop will be coming for the SQL Server 2000 Developer Edition in August. The price will drop from about $500 to $50. Borland has committed to shipping the cheap Developer Edition in its Borland C#Builder this summer.

    Flessner also acknowledged two slips from earlier product release timetables. SQL Server "Yukon," the huge overhaul of SQL Server that will integrate the Common Language Runtime, will now ship in the second half of 2004, instead of late 2003 or early 2004. Release of a private beta version of Yukon for about 1,000 customers is imminent, Microsoft officials say. Also, the full version of Jupiter, which integrates BizTalk, Commerce and Content Management servers into one product has slipped from a 2004 release to a 2005 release.

    The schedule for "2003 and 2004 are pretty well baked," Flessner said. That schedule calls for Exchange 2003, Office 2003, SharePoint Portal Server 2003, Project Server 2003, Real-Time Communications Server 2003 and Systems Manager Server 2003 this year. Other products slated to ship sometime in late 2003 or 2004 are BizTalk Server 2004, SQL Server "Yukon," Visual Studio "Whidbey," Microsoft Operations Manager 2004 and System Center Suite, a new offering that will combine SMS and MOM.

    In 2005, Microsoft is currently looking to deliver Windows "Longhorn," Visual Studio "Orcas," "Jupiter," a version of Office for Longhorn, a version 2 of RTC Server and a version 3 of SharePoint Portal Server, Flessner said. He said the roadmap necessarily gets "sketchier" in 2006 and beyond, but the plan calls for a next version of Windows Server; Exchange Server "Kodiak," which will be built on top of Yukon; and System Center, which will represent a coding integration rather than a packaging integration of MOM and SMS.

  • About the Author

    Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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