Exchange 12 = 64

Microsoft this week announced that Exchange 12 will run in 64-bit mode only. This is fairly significant for Exchange, and incredibly significant for the market.

Moving from one bit level to another is easy as long as the processors are backward compatible. Remember how smoothly Windows moved from running on 16 to 32 bits because its code didn’t change all that much? The same thing has happened with AMD 64-bit PCs and servers, which largely run 32-bit software.

By shipping a major app that runs natively on 64 bits only, Microsoft is finally pushing the move to the new hardware platform. And Microsoft has a lot to prove. I just got a 64-bit copy of Windows XP and was all excited until Redmond Report readers (that’s you) told me about its problems -- it apparently isn’t as compatible with fundamental tools like printer drivers as its half-bit sibling. That comes from porting. Exchange 12 should be a different story. If it does well with 64-bit, it may dramatically increase the number of users per server, and let you dramatically consolidate all those stinkin’ servers!

Google Desktop Search Clone Goes Enterprise
As far as I can remember, Google beat Microsoft to market with desktop search. I use the Google tool, and it works pretty well. It ain’t no revolution, but it has found a file or two I thought I needed. Microsoft’s desktop search copy (Microsoft has always offered desktop searching through Windows, IE, Office, etc. -- it just never worked all that well, especially across apps) has now gone enterprise with the announcement of a free desktop tool that works across the network. Sounds cool, but better make sure your access control lists are up to snuff. I can imagine a million workers looking for revealing documents from their bosses. (Redmond staff, don’t even think about it!)

A Super Microsoft Computer
In the old days, Cray supercomputers costs millions. Now the washed-up has-beens at my local Salvation Army have as much power.

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Many of today’s supercomputers are driven by, gasp, Linux. I’ve seen banks of dirt cheap (as in used and free) PCs clustered together to form a supercomputer. Oh, and the OS was free, too. Microsoft simply can’t have this and has been fighting back in recent years with various supercomputer initiatives.

The latest incarnation is a product set to ship two years ago, thus the original name of Windows Computer Cluster Server 2003. It’s still in beta, albeit a new beta. The tool will ship next year and finally give those cheap effective Linux clusters a little of what they came for!

Like Exchange 12, the supercomputer OS will be 64-bit only.

About the Author

Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.

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