Activewin have spotted something that follows up nicely on the debate some neowinians had with each other here on the target group for .NET server -and guess what.. Microsoft are plugging it as an Application server. LOL!
A couple of weeks ago, someone from Microsoft's .Net developer group called me for the sole purpose of making sure I understood that Microsoft was in the application server business. It's taken me awhile to figure out why Microsoft wanted to hammer home this rather obvious point. Maybe it's because, when you think about it, Microsoft's app server line comes off pretty well in comparison with that of other vendors.
People don't think of Windows Server as an application server, even though that's what it is: It provides a platform for application development, where programmers can build, deploy, and share the functionality of reusable software components. And like BEA WebLogic, IBM WebSphere, Oracle 9iAS, Sun iPlanet, and so on, Microsoft's application server is complemented by an integration server (BizTalk), a portal server (SharePoint), and an integrated application development environment (Visual Studio). In particular, I think, Microsoft covets the central position that J2EE app server vendors also seek: the de facto platform for application integration in the enterprise.
News source: ZDNet