Microsoft to ship .Net content server

As part of its software-as-services push, the company adds two tools to its .Net lineup - a content server, and a mobile server for enterprises and wireless carriers

Microsoft has added two more products to its .Net lineup, announcing the imminent shipment of Content Management Server and the immediate availability of Mobile Information Server.

Paul Flessner, Microsoft's vice president of .Net servers, made the announcements on Monday at Microsoft's TechEd conference in Atlanta. During a keynote, Flessner also pointed out that sales of SQL Server 2001 have now exceeded $1bn, a mark many analysts thought would be unreachable for Microsoft this year.

Content Management Server is based on technology from NCompass Labs, an ISV recently acquired by Microsoft. The company will ship its first version within the next couple of months, confirmed Stan Sorenson, Microsoft's director for .Net server marketing, during an interview after the keynote.

"Microsoft branding" is the only real difference between the upcoming product and NCompass's Resolution server, according to Sorenson. Microsoft didn't even need to tweak the product for compatibility with existing .Net servers.

"NCompass was managing XML content anyway, and they were already pretty well along with the [.Net] strategy," he maintained. Sorenson added that Microsoft will continue to develop Content Management Server, releasing further editions in the future. "But we don't have any timetable for that yet," he noted.

Microsoft sees wireless carriers and enterprises as the two main markets for Mobile Information Server, a .Net offering that ships this week. "ASPs are another possible market, but they'd be working with the carriers," Sorenson remarked.

Early customers for Mobile Information Server include Verizon Wireless, AT&T Wireless, UK-based Vodafone, and Telefonica Moviles in Spain.

Verizon has already been piloting the Mobile Server in the western part of the United States and now will add the eastern states to the pilot, Sorenson said.

Meanwhile, several systems integrators are developing applications for Microsoft's Mobile Server, including EDS, KPMG, Compuware and Hewlett-Packard.

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