Microsoft to Intro Lite Version Of Windows 2000 - InformationWeek

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Microsoft to Intro Lite Version Of Windows 2000

Microsoft will soon introduce a "lite" version of its Windows 2000 operating system aimed at running task-specific devices such as Internet appliances and caching servers, according to sources familiar with the company's plans.

Dubbed Windows 2000 Embedded, the software is a follow-on to Windows NT Embedded 4.0. To date, Microsoft has not publicly acknowledged that such software is in development. Microsoft declined to comment for this story.

Among the first commercially available products to use Windows 2000 Embedded will be server appliances forthcoming from IBM and Dell Computer. Sources say IBM will use Windows 2000 Embedded to power Pine Hill, the code name for a server appliance that the company will sell under its Netfinity brand. Pine Hill will also include IBM's new Netfinity Web Server Accelerator software, which is designed to facilitate "reverse proxy" caching architectures in which the server appliance is positioned between a company's main server farm and the Internet to speed up access.

Meanwhile, Dell's PowerApp server appliance, which sources say Dell will unveil the week of April 3, will use a custom version of Windows 2000 Embedded. The PowerApp will also use caching software from Novell. Additionally, the device features a built-in 10/100 BaseT network interface, at least 9 Gbytes of disk space, and a minimum memory configuration of 512 Mbytes.

That major computer manufacturers and software vendors are turning their attention to the market for specialized single-purpose servers further validates predictions that such platforms will increasingly play a larger part within E-Commerce infrastructures--at times replacing larger, more expensive multipurpose servers. According to U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray, the market for such server appliances will grow to $10 billion by 2003.

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