Developers got their hands on 15 CD-ROMs of previews and tools including a preview of Windows NT Server 5.0 with Active Directory services, Microsoft Management Console and Active Server which will let NT 5.0 applications access SQL Server and Exchange Server 4.5 and Normandy servers for replication and conferencing over the Net. Allchin said the familiarity and broad appeal of the Internet made it the ideal platform for low-cost groupware and distributed computing implementation.
NT 5.0 will also offer the NTFS distributed filing system, support for Microsoft's zero administration programme, Plug and Play support, public and private key security and support for enterprise features including hierarchical system management and 64-bit computing. It will share the driver model of Memphis, the next version of Windows 95.
Separately, Allchin said the next version of Exchange will offer support for POP and SMTP while an upgrade to SQL Server will add row locking and 64-bit computing support.
Microsoft can be contacted by telephone on 01734-270001.