Microsoft Platform Serves The Middle

Microsoft is reaching out to medium-sized businesses with a new Windows Server System promotion for small IT staffs that require a self-contained software system.

The new bundle includes the Windows Server 2003 operating system, Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 application server and Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) 2005 Workgroup Edition to manage the system. The offering includes 50 new combination promotional client licenses for Windows Server 2003 and Exchange Server 2003.

The Windows Server System bundle is geared to help meet the needs of companies with 25 to 500 PCs and only a few IT people to manage the system.

IT folks are often required to update the operating system and applications with patches and service packs, as well as keep the system secure against viruses and spam. The new bundle will take care of those chores on the fly.

The Redmond giant has also made a handful of resources available to smaller companies.

Among them is a mid-sized business IT center Web site within Microsoft TechNet. The site will teach IT professionals how to deploy and manage Microsoft software and assessment tools to help customers with fewer than 1,000 employees gauge security vulnerabilities and study financial analysis for ROI and ownership costs.

Microsoft is hoping the promotion will keep customers from turning to open source options, such as JBoss, for a low-cost application server, or any companies offering systems based on the Linux operating system.

The Windows Server System promotion is being offered at roughly 20 percent off Microsoft open-license prices and will be available in the U.S. and Europe beginning in August and in Asia in September.

Separately, Microsoft has inked a major deal with France Telecom in which the companies agreed to build a service platform for offering customers voice, video and data over the Internet. The platform will combine TV, Voice over IP (VoIP) instant messaging and content and deliver them as Web services.

Also on tap is a joint collaboration to bring customers VoIP phones created by France Telecom and equipped with Microsoft software.

LivePhone, the first Wi-Fi broadband smartphone developed by France Telecom, will be connected to the France Telecom home gateway and services. France Telecom Homezone is a communications service using a GSM/Wi-Fi mobile VoIP device, which will eventually become a smartphone based on the Windows Mobile platform.

Adapted from

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