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Windows Server 2003 Is A Small Step Forward 584

b17bmbr writes "According to eWeek, 'The release of Windows Server 2003 is a small step forward for the platform -- an effort that really should be considered Windows 2000 Server Second Edition. With the exception of Internet Information Services 6.0, there aren't any far-reaching or fundamental changes in the product.' And from CNet Microsoft prepares Windows Server ads, 'The ads are geared toward IT managers on tight budgets.' This is probably Microsoft's last chance to turn the tide and take mindset and market share from FOSS."
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Windows Server 2003 Is A Small Step Forward

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  • Oh no! (Score:5, Funny)

    by MisterFancypants ( 615129 ) on Monday April 21, 2003 @08:39PM (#5777409)
    Microsoft's last chance?

    Oh no!

    Things don't sound so good for those poor guys at Microsoft! I better sell my stock!

    • Re:Oh no! (Score:3, Insightful)

      I see that tongue planting firmly in your cheek, there. Seriously, though, Microsoft has three main businesses: enterprise software development tools, office applications and the desktop itself. Linux is taking a major chunk out of their server market, and slowly, inexorably the rest of their business will follow. They will either adapt or die. My guess is that they'll adapt, and take their new place to the left and just below the Throne of the Great Penguin. They're certainly not going to go away, but
      • Re:Oh no! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by eenglish_ca ( 662371 ) <eenglish&gmail,com> on Monday April 21, 2003 @08:50PM (#5777493) Homepage
        No one can make such a predication, what if there is a new linux that gets developed that completely revolutionizes computer use. Linux is only 10 years old and look at the influence it has gained in that short period. I don't think that linux will be that last of the computer OS revolutions.
        • Re:Oh no! (Score:4, Insightful)

          by sydb ( 176695 ) <> on Monday April 21, 2003 @09:00PM (#5777569)
          Depends what you mean by Linux. Kernel? Or GNU/Linux, operating system?

          There hasn't been a technical revolution anyway The revolution has been in licensing and using the Internet as a development environment. The technical work is all evolutionary, small steps.

          In proprietary software, you create the appearance of a revolution by giving something old a new name. You can't see the source so you can't see that it's nothing knew.

          So I wouldn't be surprised to see Linux around in 20 or even 30 years, and I'm sure DOS and VMS will be with us too.
      • Re:Oh no! (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Zeinfeld ( 263942 )
        My guess is that they'll adapt, and take their new place to the left and just below the Throne of the Great Penguin.

        I was discussing the problem of BIND security the other day. I explained that things had been better for a long time until DNSSEC came along and a whole slew of completely unchecked code had just got jammed into the kernel. This led to the observation that unglamorous stuff like testing is something that it is realy hard to get people to do for OSS projects. Especially since there is someth

        • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @12:33AM (#5778752)
          I'm on win2k3 now, build 3790.svr03_rtm.030324-2048.

          Before you all laugh; I was using this to verify if the OS can better handle SYN floods, etc. Let me tell you, FreeBSD and Linux are many times better at handling malformed ingress attack traffic, from SYN, to UDP and ICMP floods, stuff like trinoo / tfn2k / neptune / skydance / etc. Even with syn cookies and the various types of protections shut off, FreeBSD and Linux are many, many times more robust in handling bad traffic.

          I would also like to point out that CNET is going to push this crap like crazy (Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft is a major stakeholder in CNET)

          I don't believe that this is a minor facelift. This OS (5.2) is appreciably faster than NT 5.1 (XP - excretion product, if anyone used XP over 2000 for any reason they have severe brain damage). 5.1 is a bad expermient. This is a major overhaul in a lot of ways. I still think IIS is not very good. Version 6, 7 whatever - Apache 2.0 is free, opensource, and despite what Zeinfeld says, I see a lot less problems with using Apache than IIS. Sorry. But anyone who claims 5.2 is a minor change from 5.0 is smoking crack. This isn't a service pack.

          And the nail in the coffin for Windows 2003? No SSH, no REAL command line configurability and remote control. I'm sorry, but I'm not going to get a real implementation of RDP, called Citrix, which is rather good and ungodly expensive, buy terminal server licenses and citrix seats and CALs and all this crap for a SAMBA share creator with horrible remote manageability. Windows zealots can take the MMC and the snap ins that can be used remotely, remote manageability, administrative packs, terminal services, RDP, remote registry service and Run As and shove it. It is 50 fucking times harder to act as root on a windows box when you arent on the screen logged in.

          The OS is a bastard version of VMS. Its that simple. Microsoft should port SQL and Exhcange to other platforms. They should give up on IIS and embrace apache. I am not annoyed one way or the other by SQL, Exchange or .NET. The rest of the Microsoft "backoffice" however leaves much to be desired. ADS is a nightmare. It is an okay directory service for exchange, but for authentication and permission domains cross platform? Whatever. Windows NT has fundamental flaws. UNIX has been "dying" for decades, and when Windows NT failed to seal its "fate," in less than 5 years, they should have given up.

          Microsoft has to accept facts. Juniper puts FreeBSD on its godly routers and not NT based crap or Linux for very good reason. Looks are a distraction! Does this stuff WORK? Is it useful, change-able, tunable code that is well documented and self-documenting? Is it mired with ridiculous licensing? The Microsoft EULA and the GPL must have competitions on being the weirdest license ever.

          So, I ask all you Windows NT people. You XPers and you Win2003ers. Yeah, you won the browser war hands down - for now. For me it is easier to play games, do my "stuff" and browse with Windows. But do any of you really really believe in this piece of garbage for Servers? I mean fucking c'mon. This god damn tangled mess with fucking DRIVE LETTERS. No real sense of root. No well documented function to do "ln -s" (It's called joining - you can get a utility to do it with reskit, but its a hard link that cannot cleanly traverse drive letters or DFS mounts). No real way to do diskless or dumb clients unless you add citrix. TCP/IP implementation is curiously more expensive than it is on Unix clones and less able to handle attacks. Its rudely expensive with its CAL model. It seeks to proprietize the interoperable (Samba, Domain, LDAP, Kerberos, even HTML is bastardized). It cannot be easily "rescued" like unixes can. Fuck a trashed Unix box is so easy to fix, particularly if you are willing to start over.

          Windows server zealots piss me off because they live a lie. They think this crap is more modern and better?

          Fo shizzle my nizzle zealots. ;p

      • Re:Oh no! (Score:3, Insightful)

        by RoLi ( 141856 )
        Well, "adapting to survive" and "being able to charge 80%+ profit margins" are 2 entirely different things.

        Will Microsoft survive? Sure.
        Will Microsoft lose their domination? Yes, they will, eventually.

        As an investor, I see Microsoft as a company that has very much to lose and not much to gain. (On the desktop, the only place where things are going reasonable well for MS, there is no room to grow and everywhere else they are losing. But also on the desktop, especially OpenOffice is starting to eat their

    • Re:Oh no! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jmorris42 ( 1458 )
      A better reason to unload em is that they have lots of downside and darned little upside. Think it through. Their stock has been stagnant for several years and their whole business model is predicated on ever increasing revenues leading to an ever increasing stock price. The rising stock price allowed them to fund the bulk of their payroll with ever increasing stock options. Those options ain't worth shit these days and I'd bet it would take a couple of years back on the gravy train for the jaded rank
  • pssh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pizza_milkshake ( 580452 ) on Monday April 21, 2003 @08:39PM (#5777415)

    This is probably Microsoft's last chance to turn the tide and take mindset and market share from FOSS.

    please. they have $30 billion in cash. i think they'll be able to buy some other chances.

  • FOSS? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 21, 2003 @08:40PM (#5777416)
    used to be, people explained less common acroynms or linked to definitions. I miss that
  • by narkotix ( 576944 ) on Monday April 21, 2003 @08:40PM (#5777417)
    so all that money and time upgrading our reliable nt4/2k systems is only for iis6 and a pop3 service? hmmm glad my organisation is on volume licensing!
    • Yeah, welcome to the existence that Mac users have been suffering through since 10.2. It's the wave of the future!
    • by Archfeld ( 6757 ) <> on Monday April 21, 2003 @08:49PM (#5777486) Journal
      like say clustering up from 2 node max to 12 nodes, addressable memory support up to above 64 GB, 64 bit OS support, NIC load balancing, TRUE DEVICE ADDRESSING (ie no drive letters)for extended SAN support, and from what I hear a .8 version of a connectix vm system, plus features like BUILT IN document license management, full remote control support. The primary reason we're moving is for the extended clustering support.
      • You forgot all the additions to file server management like Volume Shadow Copy Service.

        New version of MSMQ with a bunch of added features. New enhancements to the COM+ application server side to enhance performance and stability. etc.

        Ability to deploy the server using RIS and other similar TCO improvements. It's also faster on the same hardware.

        It's a fairly extensive evolutionary change. It'd be like going from Redhat 5.0 to Redhat 9.0. Yeah it doesn't look different, but looks are deceiving.
      • by SonicBurst ( 546373 ) on Monday April 21, 2003 @09:37PM (#5777794) Homepage
        The new stand alone Active Directory (application mode AD, as it is called) for apps that require directory service but don't really require a full blown domain. That change alone is worth a major rev. level.

        There is also the "restore from media" option that lets you build *new* DCs from the system state backup of an old DC. Previously, you couldn't do that, and bringing up a new DC meant running dcpromo and replicating all the data from the various domains. Big deal you say? An HP IT department had to sync a new DC that was also a global catalog over a WAN line. It took 3 DAYS just for the replication. Obviously this will save some serious amounts of time.
        • by Slime-dogg ( 120473 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @01:19AM (#5778911) Journal

          They also stuck an http listener at the kernel level. It doesn't do anything except listen for http requests, and line up those requests in a queue. It is this way so that if IIS is restarted, clients are not disconnected.

          The other difference (available in win2k) is the .NET ASP handling. Since ASP.NET pages are very much like java servlets, they become objects that can be handled in a separate process, on a separate machine. This is basically a clone of those J2EE Application Servers, but with .NET integrated to the core into the OS, the performace difference is astounding.

          I'm no MS fan, mind you, but they've taken the J2EE idea, and refined it for performance benefits. When you make some benchmarks, side by side with code that's exactly the same, you'll see that .NET is probably much faster than J2EE. Sorry... but the JVM is running with lower process priority than .NET, and does not have the integration that .NET has.

          Some say that integration is a bad thing. Some say it is a good thing. Me? I really don't give a shit now. I used to be all for the separation of code, drawing a distinction between the System and the OS proggies. I admire the Unix philosophy of stringing together a bunch of tiny programs to accomplish something more complex. I've also seen the performance benefits of an integrated system (monolithic kernel anyone? ahem), and why not take it a step further. As long as MS is there to blame for their security problems (which there will be plenty, undoubtedly), I don't see why people should turn down their product. It's built for the sole purpose of serving web pages very quickly, and very reliably.

          I think MS finally pulled their heads out of their asses and realized that they weren't getting anywhere with the shitty-assed ASP, nor were they going anywhere with a server that cut everyone's connection if something went wrong. I like statefulness, I like the technology of J2EE. I also think that MS put a lot of effort into making .NET server (oh whatever, 2003) a very competitive product. All they have going against it is their reputation, and the fact that they have next to nothing as far as market share in the web server business.

    • by boskone ( 234014 ) on Monday April 21, 2003 @09:02PM (#5777581)
      Actually, you should see a huge ROI if you move from NT4 to 2003 with Active directory. Also, 2003 server will have fancy UNIX features like controlling/guaranteeing processor/mem to individual programs so you'll be able to take 6 old machines and roll it up into a 2 node, 8 way cluster. HUGE return on your investment from a manageability standpoint and also very flexible to add more servcies to it.

      I've been an MS hater for a long time (sellin' commercial UNIX solutions), but honestly, there is a lot of compelling tech wrapped up in this that will pay off big in SOME environments.
      • the finance dept. in MS HQ?

        Wouldn't you also agree that for those looking to move from NT4, that they could also see a big ROI if they moved to OSS instead? If yes, why would you try to sell a MS solution here, without mentioning that?
  • They took Windows 98 SE, dressed it up a bit, and called it Windows ME.

    It's lousy from a consumer standpoint, but enough people thought it worthwhile to buy it and make it profitable for Microsoft.

    It's not the most upstanding business strategy, but it still makes them money. And any business is not in it for the ethics, but about the cold hard cash.
    • by ergo98 ( 9391 ) on Monday April 21, 2003 @08:45PM (#5777450) Homepage Journal
      They took Windows 98 SE, dressed it up a bit, and called it Windows ME.

      True but not true. Microsoft has a habit of releasing hundreds of little "upgrades" pieces at a time such that one doesn't even realize all that has changed: Compare a stock Windows 98SE machine with 98SE with updated Media Player, IE, Messenger, etc. At some point these teams have to derive revenue so they package all of the "free" upgrades together and make it a new OS. They are actually delivering a lot of value, it just happens to be devalued by the fact that it's free for older OS' as well.
      • Better yet, compare 95A with 95C. Even B had Fat 32, only 2gig partitions in A, Internet Explorer, major TCP/IP upgrade, and a whole lot more. I still love 95a's speed on a 2gig partition. scandisk in less than a minute of a full scsi 2gb fat16 drive, and none of the media fluff to slow you down. Its still my favorite version of windows, and I admin about a dozen boxes that are still running it, including a file server. Uptime in the months range. Now, image that simple but logical interface on a good
  • by ender81b ( 520454 ) <<moc.aksarbeni> <ta> <dllib>> on Monday April 21, 2003 @08:42PM (#5777431) Homepage Journal
    Did anyone else find it really interesting that IIS now has text based configuration files. I only have passing expierence using IIS but one of the biggest headaches I have heard from people who use it alot is the fact that IIS is a real pain to configure among multiple machines.

    Anyone here run IIS and used these new text based conf files and can comment on them?
    • by questionlp ( 58365 ) on Monday April 21, 2003 @08:46PM (#5777460) Homepage
      It currently is a bitch and a half to get web sites setup exactly the same way across multiple web servers in a farm behind a load balancer without the use of third-party utilities (IIS Export is really nice and isn't too expensive... Google it for more information). Also, if you have web servers that are not in a domain and you want to restore the IIS metabase on a rebuilt system... good luck. Even with some help by Microsoft, the process is very painful and isn't perfect either. Instead, we had to use IIS Export to migrate all of the sites from one server to the rebuilt server. Not a fun task to do for over 50+ sites.

      Having text-based configuration files would be a godsend for people in such a situation! It would also make creating an restore image of a server much easier since you only have to update the web content to the latest version in production.
    • Really all they've done is made the underlying metabase database an XML database rather than proprietary, though it really wasn't difficult before to propagate metabases among machines before. Microsoft still recommends that you leave the xml file alone and instead either use the administration tools, or the powerful IIS administration components for programatic changes.
    • by Mundocani ( 99058 ) on Monday April 21, 2003 @08:56PM (#5777532)
      The configuration files in IIS 6 are XML documents, which are reasonably easy to view and modify. The files can be stored anywhere, unlike the old backup files which had to be in a particular directory in order to be used. The files also seem more robust -- the old-style backup files didn't always import into a clean install correctly, but I haven't had any problems with importing the new files.

      Multiple sites can be stored in a single file, which is pretty handy. I was only able to import one site at a time though, which makes re-loading the server a bit painful if you have multiple sites on the same server.

      Being text based makes it much easier to review configurations for errors and allows me to now use Perforce to track my changes with simple diffs. I wish more software used text based configuration files!
    • What they did was put the IIS metabase (which used to be a binary file) into an XML file. It is all very slick...

      IIS 6 really is a big deal for Windows... IIS 5 is a steaming pile of crap compared to Apache, but IIS 6 seems really promising. I'll hold out my opinion until I actually use it though... but it can't get much worse than IIS 5.
      • IIS 6 really is a big deal for Windows... IIS 5 is a steaming pile of crap compared to Apache, but IIS 6 seems really promising. I'll hold out my opinion until I actually use it though... but it can't get much worse than IIS 5.

        Sure it can! IIS4 :-)

        As an admin, what's the most noticable improvement from IIS4 to IIS5?

        you can sort the list of websites. What the hell were they thinking?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 21, 2003 @08:42PM (#5777432)
    I dont think so.
    It will be:
    'The ads are geared toward (IT?) managers on....
  • by questionlp ( 58365 ) on Monday April 21, 2003 @08:43PM (#5777441) Homepage
    It seems that Microsoft is learning a bit from their mistakes with Windows 2000 by not enabling everything under the moon by default or leaving the default settings to be so open and ripe for exploiting. That and additional support for NUMA, better clustering supports (or so Microsoft says) and supposedly new features in Active Directory to make life a little easier (again, something Microsoft is touting).

    As with Windows XP, it seems that Microsoft will be making additional components and add-ons available throughout the life of the product, including an updated version of SharePoint Team Services (which has been renamed to something I can't remember now) and currently unnamed components.

    Personally, I think Windows Server 2003 is the latest salvo Microsoft has launched to get people out of Windows NT 4.0... just like how Windows XP was the latest salvo to get people out of Windows 9x/ME. It's an incremental step up from Windows 2000, but a much bigger step up from Windows NT 4.0.

    That's my $0.01.
  • tight budgets??? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vrmlknight ( 309019 ) on Monday April 21, 2003 @08:44PM (#5777445) Homepage
    Wouldnt it be cheaper for an IT manager on a tight budget to stick with 2000 Server rather than 2003 Server. I know I dont need it and I have a tight budget. We have most of our infrastructure already upgraded to win2k server at-least the stuff that will be migrated over. We will not be upgrading to 2003 server but rather get it as it comes preloaded on any new servers we buy.
  • Infoworld says [], Ironically, Microsoft is touting its Windows server platform as a cheaper alternative to Linux. "We really feel that we deliver some unique value in terms of dependability, manageability, and performance relative to open-source products," Oldroyd said.
  • by Saint Stephen ( 19450 ) on Monday April 21, 2003 @08:47PM (#5777467) Homepage Journal
    I stopped working at Microsoft in January, after being there from June 2000. I was there during the whole "Whistler" cycle

    Kernel improvements:

    * Low-Fragmentation Heap: People use SmartHeap because NT heap serializes and sucks. LFH heap uses heap-per-processor on SMP.
    * Desktop Limit: Remember "running out of resources" before running out of memory in Win 3.1? The 32-bit analog of that limit (higher but still there) is STILL in Windows, even in XP. This keeps you from spawning thousands of processes IF those processes use any functions from user32.dll. They did some lazy registering of U/I threads vs. kernel threads that makes the limit less painful.
    * Gigabit ethernet, zero-copy networking stuff. Don't know as much about this but that it's much better.
    * Unisys ES7000 32-way blows f'ing chunks on W2K. It doesn't suck as much on 2K3 (NUMA API).
    * Tons of other perf tuning adjustments, mostly to make SQL Server run better. All SQL Server-TPC-winning numbers have been on 2K3 betas for the last year or more.
    * Junk like that. Dumb-ass bug fixes. It really is a better kernel, but it still sucks. As someone who now loves Linux, my honest assessment of the situation is, at best, the whole Linux (in its current state, mostly usability drawbacks) vs. Microsoft (usable as hell but stagnant due to lack of competition) is a draw. But Linux has more promise because its fresher and interesting. MS wins in business because business likes staid "comfortable" not necessarily better technology.
  • by asdfx ( 446164 ) on Monday April 21, 2003 @08:47PM (#5777469) Homepage
    I cannot enumerate the advantages that Windows Me had over 98. I'm sure 2003 will show the same level of advancement over 2000.

  • by nurb432 ( 527695 ) on Monday April 21, 2003 @08:48PM (#5777473) Homepage Journal
    People run their business off windows.. They don't want radical shifts..

    They want what runs now, just do it better.

    This ( arguably an improvement or not.. ) does just this.. its an incremental upgrade..

    Not that *I* care personally either way, but its how a lot of the business world works.. and they dont like suprises..
    • I've never met a business that went to the next upgrade up. I would expect more people to migrate from NT 4.0 to 2003 than people from 2000 to 2003.

      I mean, these guys have finally gotten all the bugs ironed out after those awful slammer patches, and everything is running smooth, and they're going to throw it all away? For what? Incremental advances? MS ALWAYS breaks compatibility. ALWAYS. Hell they do it with patches sometimes.

      At this point, I'm only going to move off W2K when I get all my damn VB apps po
  • Um, no (Score:5, Informative)

    by cscx ( 541332 ) on Monday April 21, 2003 @08:49PM (#5777481) Homepage
    I am running Windows Media Services 9 on Windows Server 2003 RC1. It is simply awesome as a streaming media solution. First of all, if the client is a WMP 9 client.... there is no buffering! Instant start (on broadband only, naturally). Plus, you get a ton of configuration options on the WMS9 side. You can insert adverts automatically, apply all sorts of access control on the media (IP based, user/pass login, DRM, whatever you please).

    The new IIS 6 comes in a super-secure default setup... allowing only .htm and .txt files to the outside world unless you go into the server configuration and edit this explicitly.... did I also mention that IIS 6 now stores its data in XML (similar to Apache directives) which can easily be exported to other servers if you're cloning or making a server farm.

    Plus it's pretty damn stable. My server has been running for about 60 days now... and it handles a decent amount of traffic.

    I like the new Remote Desktop/terminal services. You can remote to the actual server console now, instead of starting a new TS session. The OS itself also seems faster than Windows 2000. I'm running it on a PII/350 w/ 256 MB ram and it screams.

    It also comes with that HTTP.SYS kernel serving thingee for IIS, but I'm a strict believer that a web server doesn't belong in the kernel (this applies to Linux too).

    So far my experiences have been all positive. How bout everyone else?
    • The new IIS 6 comes in a super-secure default setup...

      DAMN. so much for hacking IIS anymore. maybe i'll take up golf.
    • Re:Um, no (Score:3, Interesting)

      by The Bungi ( 221687 )
      The OS itself also seems faster than Windows 2000. I'm running it on a PII/350 w/ 256 MB ram and it screams.

      Yep. This was actually surprising to me - i thought it would be a bit slower on the same hardware than W2K server. But yes, it is faster (or maybe it's the fact that it's a newer box with less accumulated crud =)

      Everything else is just icing on the cake, especially IIS 6.

    • Re:Um, no (Score:5, Funny)

      by Tackhead ( 54550 ) on Monday April 21, 2003 @10:03PM (#5777961)
      > I am running Windows Media Services 9 on Windows Server 2003 RC1. It is simply awesome as a streaming media solution. First of all, if the client is a WMP 9 client.... there is no buffering! Instant start (on broadband only, naturally). Plus, you get a ton of configuration options on the WMS9 side. You can insert adverts automatically, apply all sorts of access control on the media (IP based, user/pass login, DRM, whatever you please)


      Advertisements built into music/videos? DRM? Locked to IP or user/pass combinations?

      You're either astroturfing for Microsoft, or are using some definition of the word "awesome" of which I was previously unaware.

  • IIS adds a number of Unix-style playing cards to its hand in
    this release, including text-file-based configuration, much tighter
    security defaults, user-level instead of administrator-level privileges,
    and a kernel-mode HTTP request handler and cache.

    Just wait for their next killer [] release.

  • are Software Restriction Policies (SRP). These policies allow an admin to manage software execution based on for example the hash of the binary. AFAIK they were first introduced with Windows XP (see here []).
  • super (Score:5, Funny)

    by scot_sd ( 664729 ) on Monday April 21, 2003 @08:52PM (#5777507)

    good thing IIS has proven itself both secure and stable. otherwise, this could really be an issue:

    IIS adds a number of Unix-style playing cards to its hand in this release, including text-file-based configuration, much tighter security defaults, user-level instead of administrator-level privileges, and a kernel-mode HTTP request handler and cache.

    hackers, start your engines...

  • by JessLeah ( 625838 ) on Monday April 21, 2003 @08:53PM (#5777514)
    "This is probably Microsoft's last chance to turn the tide and take mindset and market share from FOSS."

    Where I live (NYC area), it seems like if anything, MS technologies are getting a BIGGER grip on things. Virtually every new job out there, it seems-- and this includes jobs whose titles include the word "Unix"-- demands experience with ASP/IIS/VB/VC++ and other MS programming and server-side products... Perhaps it's just my imagination, but I am not so confident any more in the rankings posted on ... Sure, 2/3 of the Web sites out there are running on Apache, but are they the bottom 2/3 of the Web? Increasingly, it's looking like the companies Where The Money Is are requesting more and more MS stuff. And that scares me.

    My boss, who before taking the helm of the little dot-com I work for used to work with "big money" firms all the time (and was the CEO of a national chain or three at one point), refers to the work I do with Linux and Unix as "your silly little programs". Her attitude towards MS is that it's "The Industry Standard(TM)" (you can almost hear the "(TM)" at the end) and therefore that we will use it wherever it is The Standard, case closed, no questions asked. I am lucky that in her case, she has not extended this groupthink to the server room... yet. You can bet that within a few years, we will migrate away from our current servers (Solaris on UltraSPARCs) to Windows at this rate. The sort of pro-MS dronery one hears nowadays from businesspeople is nothing short of alarming.

    It's depressing; I've been looking for a job as a Unix SA, and I swear I've actually seen one or two job postings for "Unix SAs" where it says "MCSE is a plus"... and I might have been hallucinating, but I think I even saw one that said "MCSE required"... In NYC, it seems like all of the big-money companies (financials, telcos, etc.) are all gung-ho about Windows, and it's hard to find a "virgin" Unix SA job... that is, one where you can't find words like "MCSE", "ASP/IIS", "VB" or "VC++" in the "Required" and/or "Preferred" lists.
  • "FOSS" (Score:3, Insightful)

    by OldMiner ( 589872 ) on Monday April 21, 2003 @08:54PM (#5777518) Journal

    Being a small bit of a geek, I think myself qualified to say whether a term is esoteric or not, and I must say, I've never seen FOSS in my life before. My first thought was "How is my local tourist goods shop [] suddenly competing with Microsoft on a global scale?".

    Free Open Source Software (FOSS). Thanks, that's what I want. More adjectives. And, once more, have them all thrown into an acronym I can't recognize. That's not going to encourage cliquishness or scare away people who might otherwise be interested.

    I even thought to look at E2 [] to see if the obscure FOSS had been noded. If it had been, a little link could have at least been provided to make this more accessible. Nope. Then again, I remember reading something in the Slash CVS [] which mentioned the E2 linking (with those little question marks) was broken [].

  • Heh. Tight budgets. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SatanicPuppy ( 611928 ) <> on Monday April 21, 2003 @08:55PM (#5777526) Journal
    I guess they were bound to do that, with the tech sector in the toilet, but really. Microsoft? Easy on the pockets?

    I've never failed to raise an eyebrow with an open source pitch simply by quoting the customer what the microsoft liscensing would require for the project, and comparing it to what I would charge for the whole deal, which is usually about the same. The only way a MS shop could compete is if they installed their crappy equipment for free.

    Install it cheap, make your money off the service contract, and watch your competitors go broke trying to undercut you.

    Life is sweet.
  • by chriso11 ( 254041 ) on Monday April 21, 2003 @08:56PM (#5777534) Journal
    Am I the only one that thought "IT depts are on tight budgets BECAUSE of Microsoft"?

  • Ignorance (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 21, 2003 @08:57PM (#5777540)
    It really shocks me how the stupid people come out of the wood work when slashdot posts a story about Microsoft. Let me clear a few things up:

    1) Microsoft doesn't expect many people to upgrade from Win2k. It's a damn reliable OS only released 3 years ago. Very few people will upgrade to Win2k3.

    2) Major changes in a server OS are generally not a good thing. Incremental improvements are best when you're dealing with such a huge mission critical product. That's the main reason Win2k Server didn't replace NT4 machines overnight.

    3) Microsoft expects many NT4 systems to be upgraded. Lots of people were weary of upgrading to Win2k Server but now they have a second generation AD and many other improvments over NT4. NT4 to Win2k3 is a big upgrade, well worth the cost.
  • by gcalvin ( 325380 ) on Monday April 21, 2003 @09:00PM (#5777565) Homepage
    This is probably Microsoft's last chance to turn the tide and take mindset and market share from FOSS.

    I'm pretty high up in the IT food chain in a medium-sized (300 PC users, half-billion USD annual revenue) company. We've been using Linux in several mission-critical roles for over five years, and I'd love to cut Microsoft loose altogether, but I just don't think I can do it yet. A few of the reasons:

    1. There's still no match for the Exchange/Outlook combination for integrated email, directory, shared folders and calendaring.
    2. A lot of needed third-party software is still Windows-only (think UPS WorldShip, ADP, etc.).
    3. A lot of web sites, including several we must use because of business relationships, are IE-only.
    4. Many of our users live and die by Excel, which means macros, which means VBA.
    5. Word .doc format is still lingua franca for business, and the FOSS alternatives aren't quite there yet.
    I'm sure no fan of Microsoft's licensing terms and general business practices, but I sure don't see them as being on their last legs. As much as I hate "Embrace, Extend and Eliminate", I have to admit it works, and my job is to keep the business running, not to fight political battles.
  • by tcc ( 140386 ) on Monday April 21, 2003 @09:06PM (#5777608) Homepage Journal
    The new terminal service client is nice, 24 bits support, full encryption, Group Policy applicable to Terminal Service Clients loging to the server... nice little addons.

    The web server edition is also nice, cheaper than buying a full blown server just to serve web page, with full support of COM+ and Terminal server remote administration (on a funny note, win2003 server web edition has a "win 2000 skin" default... the start menu is "winXP-like" but the windows and all that I was was like win2000 :) Guess I am not the only one who hates XP's bloated interface.

    Reading on their website, they make a big deal about the Group Policy editor, Didn't see it in action yet but that's one place they'd have plenty of room to maneuver; I hate active directory in current win2k server. Even with all patches applied, there's always that little thing somewhere hidden in some documentation deep somewhere that if you toggle on without being exactly sure on all the 2nd-effects of that action, you get burned. I have a hard time imagining somebody actually deploying an active-directory structure with remote offices and centralized servers with let's say 10 locations 50 servers and 5000 clients with some weird problems I've experimented recently, I can see why people are affraid of moving from NT servers and are always waiting for the second itteration of a technology before deploying it.

    If activ directory is better in 2003 (which it should be) and there's less bugs, I won't mind upgrading it since I don't have a gazillion servers on site. The web edition is a nice add-on in their portfolio, again, depending on the final price it will sell for.

    The only thing that would potentially make me NOT upgrade is that stupid activation crap. You're legit, you bought it, there's plenty of hacked keys or cracked version going around so if someone decides not to be legit, it's a no brainer..., if my system crashes or I have weird problems, the last thing I want is to be on the phone waiting for the right to "reactivate" my license while everybody will think "he needs tech support because he doesn't know what the problem is" :). of course ghosting the machine helps, but if you want to upgrade your raid and add more ram, and you change network card to a gigabit for example, blam? no thanks; as much as I like the NT environment more than Unix, there's a limit to be masochist :) Hope microsoft won't be stupid on this one (well web server edition at least).

  • Upgrade issues. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cybrchld ( 229583 ) on Monday April 21, 2003 @09:06PM (#5777611)
    I took a 2 day hands on class on 2003 server. Microsoft was demonstrating all the new features 2003 comes with and one of them was that you could rename the domain or forest on the fly. but it would break a few active directory applications such as SQL 2000 and exchange 2000 when the class presenter came out from left field and nearly floored everyone when he said "since were on the exchange subject be aware that you can not run exchange 2000 on windows 2003 server". You would need a mix server environment which will then not allow some of the new features work, or wait for exchange titanium to be release at the end of the year.
  • by Lord Sauron ( 551055 ) on Monday April 21, 2003 @09:14PM (#5777648)
    One small step for security, one giant leap for MS stocks.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 21, 2003 @09:31PM (#5777760)
    I've been running windows 2003 as a desktop for a couple weeks, and am really liking it. It comes with virtually everything disabled by default, and all the security stuff maxed. The main reason I moved over is cause I read an article here a while ago stating that microsoft had actually tried to release an OS with as few bugs as possible, and if I remember correctly the bug count is somewhere low like 100 or less (obviously this is known bugs only, I'd bet it's way higher). After the install I found it had everything XP had, themes, directx, everything. Believe it or not, games performed better on win2k3 server than on winXP. I had both installed for a couple days, and did some other comparisons like memory usage, etc, and it turned out it uses WAY less. My 7 month old XP install used 400mb of virtual memory and 250 physical memory with no programs running, while 2k3 used 100 of each. That is a HUGE difference. It also boots alot faster as well. I haven't found any incompatibilities yet, so I'll be keeping this as my desktop. I do run a server on linux, and will definately keep it that way simply due to resources difference.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 21, 2003 @09:56PM (#5777902)
    An MS Engineers point of view:

    Win2k3 is a nice upgrade...I say this because it includes a lot of the things that people ASKED Microsoft for from Win2k.

    - Resultant set of GPO available without using GPRESULT (GUI reporting MMC. cool if you've ever have the problem of tracking down GPOs)
    - Rename a domain & not have to rejoin all workstaitons
    - Nice new volume utilities - VSS (volume snapshots)
    - IIS 6.0 - a little more secure (it's still not APACHE)

    but to compare this type of OS to Linux isn't fair. You really can't EVER compare the two.

    - Linux requires really learning and living Linux, and I haven't really seen any training seminars/tracks dedicated to learning LINUX (ok, now you bastard nitpicky people are going to name places where they have them, but the fact is that they're not widely available)
    - Linux doesn't have a tool for a unified directory. MS doesn't have it 100% there, or even 75% for that matter, but they're trying.
    - Linux as a desktop is clunky...average users won't be able to deal with it, and AVERAGE USERS make the difference when it comes to LINUX OR NOT. We can be as asmart as we want with Linux, but they have to use it to do work, and the work drives the OS.

    I happen to be more than a little familiar with Linux, and it's just not there. It's fun, it's different, and I HATE the way that MS bullies users into licensing and upgrading (I have clients who run NT4.0 happily and have to upgrade b/c support for it is being cancelled in July). BUT -

    before linux can be accepted as MS has been accepted, they need to stop having so many FLAVORS OF IT. Can't you band together yet??? Getit together and SLAY this goliath. Until then, stop complaining. Linux is making it more difficult ot take seriously be having so many flavors.

    (and STOP before you flame know that everone that loves LINUX loves their flavor of LINUX and not just LINUX.)

    Anyone else care to comment? I'm interested. if you're going to flame, keep it to yourself unless you can back it up.

    • Linux is not there to slay any Goliaths.

      Linux is there because many people believe it solves their computing problems, most importantly it solves the problem about who decides how to handle your own computer resources.

      With MS you have to upgrade when they say you must, to what they say you must, under the conditions they dictate to you and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it if you have become completely reliant on MS based stuff for your crtitical computer work.

      With Linux and other OS OSes
  • Familiar (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mdw162 ( 654188 ) on Monday April 21, 2003 @10:07PM (#5777990)
    I know this has been said before, but it seems almost everyday Windows become more Unix-like (cleaner, faster, more stable, better) while Linux becomes more Windows-like (less stable, slower, more bloated and less stable [why is is that the 2.2 kernels are generally considered more stable than the 2.4 series?]). With current predictions [] showing PDAs are going to overtake desktops in the next few years, the Linux community has to concede the desktop market to Microsoft and move on. Servers are is where Linux/Unix strength is. It just always seems to me Linux is playing catchup to Microsoft on the desktop while MS is learnig from their mistakes and trying to move forward.
    • Re:Familiar (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mcrbids ( 148650 )
      Reply or mod... Reply or mod... Augh spit! I'll bite...

      the Linux community has to concede the desktop market to Microsoft and move on

      PHP-GTK is a byproduct of a "Windows-like" toolkit (GTK) meeting a definitely server-based language. (PHP)

      The result is quite impressive. I can use the same codebase for file i/o and communications on the Windows clients as on the Unix server, giving me guaranteed 100% compatability.

      This is a natural for Web services and network-based software!

      I welcome the improvements
    • Re:Familiar (Score:3, Informative)

      I know this has been said before, but it seems almost everyday Windows become more Unix-like (cleaner, faster, more stable, better) while Linux becomes more Windows-like (less stable, slower, more bloated and less stable [why is is that the 2.2 kernels are generally considered more stable than the 2.4 series?]).

      Wait. So, while Windows is getting better, Linux is becoming more like Windows, but is getting worse? No matter how hard I try, I can't reproduce the mental backflips necessary to figure that one

  • Fiscal Discipline (Score:4, Informative)

    by nfsilkey ( 652484 ) on Monday April 21, 2003 @10:18PM (#5778062) Homepage
    'The ads are geared toward IT managers on tight budgets.'

    Lets see...
    Samba as a PDC/BDC : cost of hardware
    Apache as a webserver : cost of hardware

    Microsoft as both : cost of hardware and obscene license fees.

    Take Economics 101. :)
  • by Timothy Dyck ( 16448 ) on Monday April 21, 2003 @10:23PM (#5778095)

    To give some context, this is a short column I wrote for this week's (4/21/2003) eWEEK news package on Windows Server 2003. It's short because of print space limitations. The whole collection of related news articles in this week's issue is at,3960,1034194,00.a sp [].

    Next week, eWEEK is publishing an eWEEK Labs review of the product. In that package, there are six pages of copy covering Windows Server 2003 overall security changes, IIS 6.0, 64-bit Windows, Active Directory changes, file and print changes, development, and storage and SAN changes.

    Tim Dyck
    eWEEK Labs West Coast Technical Director

  • by Jarhead1972 ( 667612 ) on Monday April 21, 2003 @10:25PM (#5778116) Journal
    In short the benefits are for the admins (no, not the idiot IT guys who manage to correctly install Win2k at least 80% of the time) The benefits are found in the scriptable administration. Task scheduling from script works correctly. The funky WMI to SNMP to Perfmon counter crap is gone providing scriptable interfaces via WMI to standard and preformatted counters. The holes in ADSI administration if IIS are fixed. Add to that a journaling filesystem with the ability to do point in time recovery over the network (what, didn't the article mention a flavor of journaled network file system?) Oh, what, you didn't even know they existed. You'd be really amazed at what a real admin can do with Win2k and not Win2k3. But most don't look, they are too busy trying to get their new open source browser to run correctly on the latest patched up version of their open source os of choice. I agree with premise of the article, but not the content.
  • by bertok ( 226922 ) on Monday April 21, 2003 @11:20PM (#5778441)

    A lot of people here are complaining that Windows 2003 has few improvements, but as a software developer, I know that is not the case. For example, take a look at the latest Platform SDK or MSDN docs, you'll find that a lot of API improvements are listed as "Windows XP SP1 and Windows 2003 Server only".

    For example, Windows XP/2003 adds enhancements to the Security API, making it easier and more efficient to check a user's access rights. (I'm referring to the Authz### series of functions)

    There are also a whole slew of new command line enhacements that system administrators have been asking for. It is now possible to automate almost everything in windows through the CLI. This has not been possible before. For example, new CLI mode programs include 'reg' (for editing the registry), 'netsh' (for configuring networking), 'waitfor' (for synchronizing scripts across servers), 'diskpart' (for managing disks and volumes), and a whole bunch of others. Some of these are simply upgraded versions of existing tools in the Windows 2000 Resource kit, but it's nice to see them built-in, instead of an add-on.

    One thing that still irks me though is that Microsoft simply refuses to make the UI defaults reasonable. Every time I install Windows, I am forced to go through about half a dozen dialog boxes to toggle every single setting in those boxes to the exact opposite of their default values. Hiding extensions is NEVER a good thing, and it has confused everyone I have ever met. Nobody likes it, and it is one of the primary causes of the ".jpg.vbs" style viruses. Why can't Microsoft simply admit that they were wrong? Why do folders still show the Win 3.1 era large icon view, when everyone I know prefers the Detailed view? Why? Why must you hurt me Billy?

    A list of all CLI commands available in Windows 2003 []

    An example of the new Security API functions in XP/2003 []

  • activation? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by prockcore ( 543967 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @12:59AM (#5778844)
    Neither the article nor any comments mention Activation.

    Does Win2k3 have activation? If so, why would anyone downgrade from Win2k?

APL hackers do it in the quad.