Microsoft releases Server Appliance Kit 2.0

Microsoft Corp. released to manufacturers Monday its Server Appliance Kit 2.0, allowing original equipment manufacturers to build server and network attached storage (NAS) appliances based on the Windows 2000 operating system.

Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer unveiled the new developers' tool during his keynote address at the Microsoft Windows Embedded Developers Conference in Tokyo Monday.

The latest version of Microsoft's Server Appliance Kit includes an improved user interface that enables developers to speed up the process of deploying server and NAS products and monitor the systems remotely from a workstation, Microsoft said. It also gives customers a "watchdog" function that alerts system administrators of problems by e-mail or notices.

The Server Appliance Kit 2.0 includes a hardware reference specification, a device driver kit, software components for NAS and Web appliance configurations, a software development kit and build documentation.

Microsoft said the Server Appliance Kit will be included in the embedded server operating system and tool set, code-named "Whistler Embedded Server," which is currently in development.

Also Monday, RLX Technologies Inc. introduced the first server product based on the Server Appliance Kit 2.0 -- a Web ServerBlade solution called RLX System 324. Companies building products on the original Server Appliance Kit include Compaq Computer Corp., Dell Computer Corp. and IBM Corp.

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