Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates Delivers Vision for Reducing IT Complexity, Announces Software Advances for Operational Efficiency At IT Forum Europe

COPENHAGEN, Denmark, Nov. 16, 2004 — Today, Microsoft Corp. Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates delivered the opening keynote address, “The Magic of Software,” at Microsoft IT Forum 04, the company’s premier European conference for information technology (IT) professionals. In his presentation, Gates announced the immediate availability of the latest Windows Server System (TM) technologies, including management products, tools, resources and feature packs that address systems management complexity. These and other advancements facilitate the company’s long-term vision for increased operational efficiency through common engineering across Windows Server System and the Dynamic Systems Initiative (DSI). With DSI, Microsoft is focused on delivering improved technologies to simplify and automate tasks associated with creating and maintaining existing infrastructure.

“The distributed nature of computing makes it challenging for customers to manage the cost and complexity of their technology investments,” Gates said. “We are committed to a unique approach that builds operational knowledge into the applications themselves, enabling customers to reduce complexity now and in the future.”

Also today, Gates announced the immediate availability of the Windows Server System Common Engineering Report. This next step on the Windows Server System Common Engineering Roadmap extends the planning horizon for IT professionals by providing unprecedented transparency and detail about the integration across Windows Server System products. The first two products to publish the details of their Common Engineering Criteria implementation are Microsoft®
Operations Manager (MOM) 2005 and Microsoft Virtual Server 2005. This report, along with an updated set of white papers, is available online at .

The following products, tools and resources that help IT professionals plan, deploy and manage their systems were announced today:

  • Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) 2005. Microsoft announced worldwide availability of MOM 2005. It is Microsoft’s premier solution for event and performance management of the Windows Server System.

  • Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 and Virtual Server 2005 Migration Toolkit. Microsoft announced worldwide availability of Virtual Server 2005, designed to improve software testing and development, server consolidation, and legacy application migration scenarios. The Virtual Server 2005 Migration Toolkit simplifies the migration of an operating system and associated applications from a physical server to a virtual machine running on Virtual Server 2005.

  • Systems Management Server (SMS) 2003 feature packs. Microsoft announced the availability of two new feature packs to assist Systems Management Server customers:

  • The SMS 2003 Device Management Feature Pack enables administrators to perform device discovery, collect hardware and software inventory, and distribute software to these devices.

  • The SMS 2003 Operating System Deployment Feature Pack helps desktop administrators create a Windows®
    operating system desktop image and deploy it in an automated manner.

More information about these feature packs can be found at .

  • Windows Update Services public beta. Microsoft announced the public beta of Windows Update Services, which enables IT administrators to more easily assess, control and automate the deployment of Microsoft software updates, enabling IT professionals to better secure Windows environments. The beta can be downloaded at .

  • Solution Accelerator Business Desktop Deployment. Microsoft announced a new accelerator designed to reduce the cost and complexity associated with desktop deployment, application compatibility and desktop life-cycle management. New deployment tools and best practices (resources) enable partners to deploy Windows XP and Office 2003 for under $100 per desktop on average, a potential savings of up to $250 per desktop. The Enterprise Edition of Solution Accelerator (tools and resources) offers Zero Touch deployment to eliminate the need for a technician to be on site to deploy the desktop.

Dynamic Systems Initiative

In his keynote address, Gates further expanded on the company’s DSI vision, explaining that knowledge and models are at the heart of DSI. Initially the delivery of this approach will be through management packs, built with Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM), and longer-term customers will be able to use a schema called the System Definition Model (SDM), available in Visual Studio®

Microsoft is working with a diverse group of industry partners to provide customers with end-to-end hardware and software management solutions. Among those partners is Dell Inc., featured during Gates’ keynote address. A video of Michael Dell reiterated yesterday’s announcement between the two companies of a strategic development partnership in systems management, starting with a new solution that allows customers to update hardware system software, operating systems and applications through one interface. More information on the announcement can be found at .

Gates also described how Microsoft Active Directory®
and Microsoft Identity Integration Server (MIIS) help IT professionals reduce the costs and complexities of identity and access management. Together, Active Directory and MIIS enable IT organizations to automate common tasks such as provisioning and password changes and increase the productivity of their employees with more secure single sign-on to applications and networks. Gates further highlighted the availability of a new .NET-based smart card from Axalto, the world’s leading provider of microprocessor cards. This smart card runs a small-footprint implementation of the .NET Framework, developed from the Common Language Infrastructure specification at ECMA, and allows developers to use Visual Studio .NET and their existing skills for smart-card development.

New Resources for IT Community

Microsoft also announced new and extended resources designed to help customers and partners realize their full potential.

TechNet Plus 2.0 offers IT professionals access to Microsoft evaluation software without time limits and a flexible and cost-effective way to try Microsoft products and prepare for industry change. In addition, TechNet Plus 2.0 offers subscribers two complimentary professional technical support incidents to help IT professionals quickly resolve mission-critical issues. Key product information is delivered reliably each month including resource kits, software updates, utilities, deployment guidance and technical training for all stages of the IT life cycle. More information about TechNet Plus can be found online at .

Microsoft user groups can find support through Culminis Inc., a U.S. not-for-profit organization, which was created in February 2004. As of Nov. 16, 2004, Culminis, together with founding sponsor Microsoft, has extended its reach around the globe to include Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Culminis seeks to support IT professional user groups in a more organized fashion, providing them with resources in critical areas including operations, marketing, community outreach, career services, training and education, onsite visits and other exclusive benefits. Through its Culminis Alliance Program (CAP), the organization recently added more than 450 user groups and 280,000 new members.

Culminis is waiving its annual membership fee for new organizations that apply to CAP before Dec. 31, 2004. More information about Culminis can be found at .

To help independent software vendors (ISVs) bring their software products to the marketplace more quickly on the Microsoft platform, on Monday, Nov. 15, Microsoft announced the opening of a first-of-its-kind facility on its Vedbaek, Denmark, campus. At the new Microsoft Technology Centre (MTC) for EMEA ISV Development, Microsoft experts and engineers will work closely with ISVs — providing in-depth technical support, sharing Microsoft product plans and technical road maps, and offering marketing and business-level guidance.

About Windows Server System

Microsoft Windows Server System is integrated server software providing the infrastructure for IT operations, application development, integration and information work. Built on the Windows Server (TM) operating system and designed with Common Engineering Criteria, Windows Server System is focused on making it easier for IT professionals to connect and manage their IT environments. Because Windows Server System products are integrated for enhanced manageability and security, they help organizations reduce complexity and lower costs. All Windows Server System products support open industry standards including those based on XML to promote interoperability with other platforms. More information on Windows Server System can be found online at .

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Microsoft, Windows Server System, Windows, Visual Studio, Active Directory and Windows Server are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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