Microsoft Preps Server, Desktop Upgrades

According to sources that Microsoft briefed last week, the company is using the iWave moniker internally as an umbrella marketing strategy for many of its desktop and server upgrades in 2003. Microsoft iWave desktop products include Microsoft Office 11 (shipping June 2), which includes InfoPath 2003 (code-named XDocs); Project 11 and Visio 11 (both shipping in late July); and SharePoint Team Services (which will ship concurrently with Office 11). On the server side, Microsoft is prepping Exchange Server 2003 (code-named Titanium, which will also ship June 2) and SharePoint Portal Server. The company will also soon announce various marketing and sales promotions for the iWave products.

The iWave product-release orchestration is apparently an attempt to capitalize on the so-called Information Worker, Microsoft's new term for Knowledge Worker, a person who regularly needs to access distributed information in the course of the workday. By tying together Office desktop products with relevant server products, Microsoft hopes to make a compelling case for the integrated functionality of its total solutions. Naturally, these products run best on Windows Server 2003 on the server and Windows XP on the desktop.

Microsoft will complete Office 11 beta 2 as early as this week, and users interested in testing Office 11 will be happy to hear that the company will issue a public preview release within 30 days; a Visio 11 public preview will also be available in early March. Office 11's June 2 release date coincides nicely with Microsoft TechEd 2003, so I expect the company to promote its iWave rollout at that conference.

News source: WinInfo via Bink WindowsXP

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