Microsoft Implements OEM Data Center Program

NEW ORLEANS (04/25/2000) - Microsoft Corp. here today rolled out its Windows 2000 Data Center Program, which brings together more than 10 OEMs to ensure interoperability of the Windows 2000 Server operating system over a wide variety of hardware.

Compaq Computer Corp., IBM Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co., NEC Corp., Fujitsu, Hitachi, and Dell Computer Corp. are just a few of the participating OEMs, according to Michel Gambier, group product manager for Windows Data Center. The announcement was made at the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC).

"[Microsoft] wants a consistent set of platform experiences and service for the end-user," Gambier said. "Just shipping [Windows 2000 Server] was not enough.

The customer expects to see a high level of performance and testing on actual platforms."

By involving OEMs in the actual testing and development of the operating system, customers will get to choose from a variety of hardware platforms, rather than one proprietary system, according to Gambier.

"Data center people are essentially risk adverse," Gambier said. "By eliminating the risk of buying into a data center solution and ensuring user scalability and availability, there will be less finger-pointing between Microsoft and the OEMs if something goes wrong."

Microsoft Corp., in Redmond, Washington, is at www.microsoft.com.

Dan Neel is an InfoWorld reporter.

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