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Microsoft Boss Eyes Innovation

During the past year, Microsoft moved deeper into storage though Windows Storage Server, increased iSCSI support, clustered file systems, and placed more concentration on branch offices. You can expect more of the same over the next year, with a potential push into compliance and archiving.

That's the word from Gabriel Broner, after six months on the job as general manager of Microsoft's Windows Storage division.

Broner says Windows Storage Server will continue as the focal point for Microsoft's storage strategy. (See Microsoft Opens iSCSI Window and Microsoft Widens Storage Window.) Storage Server, made available to OEMs last June, was Microsoft's first dedicated storage system and Broner says breaking it out of from Windows Server enables Microsoft to deliver more rapid upgrades. He expects a version of Windows Storage Server about every year or so.

"We'll continue to use Storage Server as the product line where we'll be doing storage innovation," he says. "It gives us an agile product line somewhat separated from releases of Windows Server, which has a longer cycle."

Broner says he hopes to see high-end storage features such as single-instance storage, clustered file systems, and replication that start out on Storage Server eventually available on a general version of Windows. He points to the inclusion of snapshots in the upcoming Vista Windows OS as an example of the trickle-down theory of enterprise features.

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