Windows 2003 Server regional launch delayed

Microsoft has decided to postpone the launch for the Windows 2003 server in the region, but have promised everything will be business as usual when it comes to rolling out the product next month.

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By  Paul Barthram Published  April 3, 2003

Microsoft has decided to postpone the launch for the Windows 2003 server in the region, but have promised everything will be business as usual when it comes to rolling out the product next month.

“It’s not a low key launch, we’re doing everything as normal, except we’ve pushed the official event day back due to the political circumstances in the region,” explained Haider Salloum marketing manager for Microsoft South Gulf.

In fact preparations for gearing the region to the new product are already in an advanced stage, with training sessions in place for 2,000 channel members, and Microsoft working with fifteen large enterprise accounts in deploying the product at this moment in time.

“What we’re doing at the moment with the channel is getting the technical people ready, and the sales people ready for the product…with the channel, the main work is to look at the different tiers and how we get them ready for the product,” said Salloum.

The new offering from Microsoft claims to offer many benefits including enhanced wireless security, significant savings on transaction protocol costs, which according to Saloum offers 87 times more scalability than its predecessor Windows NT4. Although, this has as much to do with enhanced technologies, as congruent software.

Salloum said he felt the enhancements to the Windows 2003 Server far exceeded the capabilities of the commonly used NT4, and hoped the take up would match expectations.

“The ‘low hanging fruit’ as we call the Windows NT is a very popular product and we have approximately 28% of the installed base of servers in the Middle East still running it, and yet it is a seven-year old product.”

So did Saloum feel companies would find it difficult to give up what has become a trusted piece of software in the workplace, in fear of extensive teething difficulties? “We’re saying to customers now is the best time to move. People have realised we’ve made some major jumps from Windows NT4 to 2003. It’s just a lot of people are comfortable with a certain offering. They have used NT, and they’ve been comfortable with it because it does the job. This is why Microsoft has to go in and explain where the difference is.”

Those in fear of losing support from Microsoft in the maintenance of their server should fear not, but the times are changing. “Actual support for NT4 expired in December, but we’ve added a special extension for one more year. So if there is an issue with the OS like a virus or vulnerability, there will always be a patch or a service pack to update and support it. However we will not keep enhancing the OS as it is. So we will be very reactive unless it’s an old technology we can’t go and reengineer it back again. The reengineering work has been done onto the new OS,” he said.

For those interested in training courses for the new product, a combination of subsidised one-day, three-day and five-day courses are available via the Microsoft website with prices ranging from $25 to $250.

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