Spin Unspun

By Joshua Weinberger Print this article Print

Microsoft's pay-to-play server software.

"Do more with less."

That tag line to Microsoft's ad campaign for its Windows Server 2003 seemed like an apt pitch in an era of tight budgets. After all, it set the bar for how users could expect to apply the new operating system. But when the April 24th launch date arrived, users found the phrase could apply to the product itself.

Microsoft itself calls the Windows Server 2003 release "evolutionary" rather than "revolutionary"— despite three years of work by as many as 5,000 developers. While thousands of applications are already available to run on Windows Server 2003, several of Microsoft's own programs (versions of SQL Server, Exchange 5.5, Exchange 2000, and others) aren't.

In fact, a number of "layered" and "add-on" services—including the Active Directory Application Mode, Real-Time Communications Server and Windows Rights Management—aren't yet available and may result in additional fees. Higher costs won't sway holdouts using Server NT. "If Microsoft decides to make the services for-fee, they won't fly—people just won't pay for them," says Gartner analyst Tom Bittman.

"Do more, spend more" probably wouldn't fly either.

This article was originally published on 2012-05-04
Assistant Editor
After being on staff at The New Yorker for five years, Josh later traveled the world, hitting all seven continents in a single year. At Yale University, he majored in American Studies, English, and Theatre Studies.

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