Microsoft's Stork Outlines Windows 2000

PALM SPRINGS, CALIFORNIA -- Despite recent announcements from Microsoft that there will be another release of the client version of Windows, a Microsoft official said here Wednesday that the company has not deviated from its strategy of a single OS. "A single operating system code base is Microsoft's long-term direction with a single development target for drivers, hardware, and testing," said Carl Stork, platform product manager for Microsoft, during his keynote at the Intel Developer Conference here. That code base would be the foundation of the long-awaited Windows 2000, for which Stork laid out plans Wednesday.

Stork detailed for the more than 2,000 developers attending the conference the four versions of Windows 2000 that the company will begin shipping in 1999--adding one caveat to the promised ship date. "Our target is '99, but it depends on customer feedback," Stork said. The four versions of Windows 2000 include Windows 2000 Professional, which will be the primary desktop and mobile operating system and will include Plug and Play and power management using ACPI. However, despite Stork's assurances that the power management with ACPI will offer tremendous benefits to mobile users, many industry insiders are saying off the record hat ACPI still does not work well enough to replace Advanced Power Management.

The second version of Windows 2000 will be called Windows Server and is targeted at the mainstream business server market and will include Active Directory, the Kerberos and PKI security technology, Windows Terminal support, and on-release support for up to two-way processing with upgrades "over time" to four-processor support. Windows 2000 Advanced Server will add support for TCP/IP load balancing, COM+, up to 64GB of main memory and up to four-way processing going to eight-way support, as well as all the features found in the Windows 2000 Server.

Finally, Windows 2000 Data Center edition will include all the features in the Advanced Server plus support for up to 32 processors and four-node clusters which can be integrated into the Microsoft Management Console, he said. Stork brought an audible reaction from the audience when he promised the attendees that "the driving factor is absolutely going to be quality." All versions of Windows 2000 will also include support for DVD, MPEG, digital TV, broadband public networks, home networking, USB, IEEE 1394 and OnNow, he said.

Besides the expected PC Card and CardBus, and docking support in Windows 2000 for mobile systems, Stork also talked about a newer technology to support offline data synchronization with the network. Users will be able to designate which data they are working on that, when attached to the network, should be cached on the local hard drive. When the user returns to the network, changes will be reconciled. Stork concluded by telling the audience that the 64-bit version of Windows is also under development with daily builds and will be available for both the Alpha and IA64 platforms. "As soon as IA64 systems ship, we will ship Windows 64," Stork said.


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