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Whistler Server Embedded Replaced With Server Appliance Kit

Microsoft shifted its focus in developing an embedded version of the Windows .NET Server operating system.

Originally, Microsoft planned to deliver an embedded version of Windows .NET Server shortly after the general Windows .NET Server release. But now, Microsoft has decided not to create a separate embedded version. Instead, it will ship a third version of the Server Appliance Kit based on Windows .NET Server code shortly after the release of the general-purpose version of the operating system.

"Our past thinking was that we would do a componentized version of Windows .NET Server," says Megan Kidd, product manager in the embedded and appliance platform group. "In talking to customers, we realized that footprint really isn't an issue for server appliance people."

Without a need for reduced footprint, a refreshed version of the Server Appliance Kit (SAK) based on Windows .NET Server would satisfy companies building Windows-based server appliances, Kidd says.

The new version is called Windows .NET Server with Server Appliance Kit 3.0. It is scheduled for delivery around the same time as the rest of the Windows .NET Server family in the second half of 2002.

Microsoft originally created the Server Appliance Kit as an interim step after deciding to abandon development of a Windows 2000 Embedded. Microsoft began the process of creating Windows NT 4.0 Embedded long after delivering the Windows NT 4.0, and consequently delivered the embedded version about 18 months after the general release of the operating system.

Instead of shipping an embedded version of Windows 2000 18 months after the general release, Microsoft decided to skip Windows 2000 and target Whistler. Microsoft did ship Windows XP Embedded shortly after shipping the general-purpose version of Windows XP, which shared the "Whistler" codename with Windows .NET Server.

In other Embedded and Appliance Platform Group news, Microsoft expects to deliver the Smart Device Extension to Visual Studio .NET in the second half of this year, along with the first service pack for Windows XP Embedded and a new version of Windows CE .NET codenamed "Jameson."

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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