Micrsoft’s Server Software Strategy

News.com writes about Jupiter, which “binds together at least three of its server applications into a single bundle. Jupiter includes BizTalk Server integration software; Content Management Server, for storing and presenting business documents; and Commerce Server, for building e-commerce Web sites.”

One of Microsoft’s biggest advantages over server software competitors is its dominance of the desktop software market, said analysts. The company is exploiting its desktop software stronghold to bolster its position in industrial-strength server software. For example, Microsoft’s Visio diagramming tool will produce BPEL-compliant code from the design of a multistep business process, according to executives.

Jupiter will also include so-called business activity monitoring tools, which will let someone use an Excel spreadsheet to view the progress of an ongoing business process. For example, a call center manager could query the workflow engine to spot where incoming calls are experiencing long delays.

Jupiter server software will work closely with the InfoPath forms-building capability that Microsoft is building into Office 2003, said Wascha. InfoPath lets a person create a form, defined as an XML document. By tying the form with the XML-based workflow engine in Jupiter, the person could establish the approval steps of a simple purchase-order business process, Wascha explained.

The close coupling of Microsoft’s desktop and server applications, combined with its traditional strengths in pricing and ease-of-use, give its renewed, albeit late, thrust into the server software market a distinctive look, according to analysts.

We need something similar for Linux also. Bundling is the key to making it proliferate. Linux has to succeed on the desktop, and thus needs to position itself as an alternative for new users in emerging markets. The desktop and server spaces need to be targeted in tandem.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.