Microsoft used its Fusion '97 conference to unveil a new server product, trumpet Windows NT's future, and announce significant industry support for its Component Object Model (COM) technology.
Digital and Hewlett-Packard will include COM in Unix operating systems releases later this year, becoming the first hardware companies to do so, said Bob Muglia, vice-president of server applications division at Microsoft.
"COM is the most widely accepted business model for building business applications," Muglia said.
The star of Fusion was Site Server, a new BackOffice family server unveiled recently by Microsoft. Conference attendees received beta CDs of the software, which is designed for Internet, intranet, and extranet management and runs on Windows NT and Internet Information Server.
Site Server impresses
An enterprise version includes the Commerce Server electronic-commerce software, formerly called Merchant Server, which no longer will be offered as a stand-alone product, said Anthony Bay, general manager of Microsoft's Internet services business unit. The enterprise version also offers more advanced management technology.
"The focus here is to provide a complete solution that builds on Internet Information Server to make it easier for you to build Web apps," Muglia said.
Developers at the conference generally were impressed by Site Server, particularly the Web site analysis and mapping technology that was the fruit of the recent purchases of other companies, Interse and NetCarta.
"This is something that can be very handy from a management standpoint," said one developer from Atlanta, who asked not to be identified.
"Merchant Server makes it that much more attractive, too."
Sales of Windows NT 4.0, which was scheduled to be featured at a Scalability Day event on May 20 in New York, have topped 900,000 since it shipped last July and will hit the one million mark by the end of May, Microsoft officials said.
Muglia said NT 5.0, due next year, will include Microsoft Transaction Server (MSTS) and Microsoft Message Queuing (MSMQ), code-named Falcon, which reached the second beta stage last month.