Microsoft on Thursday will launch the most ambitious version yet of its Windows server operating system, as the company looks to push aside Unix servers and mainframes in the enterprise. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will officially launch Windows Server 2003 at a press conference in San Francisco. Microsoft's customers have had the software since early April, when a code key capable of unlocking potentially tens of thousands of copies of the software leaked out onto the Internet. Microsoft released final, or gold, code at the end of March. Also on Thursday, Microsoft plans to launch Visual Studio .Net 2003, a new version of its development tools, and SQL Server 2003, an update of its database server software.
Microsoft will attempt to woo cash-strapped technology managers to Windows Server 2003 by touting the benefits of working with a single OS, the advantages for server consolidation and the cost savings compared to Unix servers and mainframes. The Redmond, Wash.-based company plans to spend as much as $250 million over the next year promoting Windows Server 2003 in print, television, Web and outdoor advertisements.
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News source: c|net