Microsoft lays out plans for servers and netbooks

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Microsoft lays out plans for servers and netbooks

Microsoft OEM head Steve Guggenheimer used his keynote address at Computex in Taiwan today to outline Microsoft’s plans for servers and netbooks.

Microsoft’s OEM division corporate vice president confirmed Microsoft will release Windows 7 in October, and Windows Server 2008 R2 at “broadly” the same time.

Microsoft is prepared the two operating systems to be ready for two smaller markets; entry level servers and netbooks.

On the server front, Guggenheimer said OEMs such as Acer, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Lenovo, IBM and NEC have signed up to build smaller servers running Windows Server 2008 Foundation.

The software is designed for single processor servers used by around 15 clients and lacks key Linux features like support for virtualisation.

The code is aimed at small companies who are currently using consumer PCs for business and wanted to make the jump to their first server.

“We expect this new server platform to be popular in markets across the globe, with its modest cost making it possible for small companies to grow, innovate and stay competitive, which in turn can ignite growth for their local economies,” Guggenheimer said.

On the netbooks market, Guggenheimer said that the platform had rapidly evolved from internet viewing device to powerful miniature PCs. As such the term netbook is being replaced by the term small notebook PCs at Microsoft

“A year ago when these smaller PCs first came onto the scene, many in the space were saying consumers wouldn’t want or need these devices to be full-featured,” he said.

“In fact, the exact opposite turned out to be true. Consumers really do want small notebook PCs to work like their laptops and desktops.”

Windows 7 would be available for netbooks in its fullest feature mode but Microsoft also wanted to see the operating system on new breeds of electronic devices.

“This next generation of smart, connected, service-oriented devices will give people mobile access to a rich set of media and information,” he said.

“Using Microsoft technologies like Windows Embedded CE, Visual Studio, Silverlight and Expression Blend, we can enable devices such as personal navigation devices, portable media players, set-top boxes and networked TVs to provide a rich browsing experience and a dynamic, immersive user interface.”

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