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Microsoft Hopes To Snare Some Storage Share

Microsoft is looking beyond its dominance of the server space with a series of moves aimed at giving it major mind share in storage.

In its latest move, the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant last week made the R2 version of its storage operating system, Windows Storage Server 2003, available to storage OEMs.

WSS 2003 R2, which contains several new enterprise-class features, may become available to the custom-system space after Microsoft tweaks it some more, said Claude Lorenson, group product manager for storage at Microsoft.

Microsoft has a pilot program in place for this summer to bring WSS to system builders, Lorenson said. Microsoft has not yet done so because “there are some groups within Microsoft that are not happy with this,” he said. “We have to smooth some feathers.”

The problem, Lorenson said, is that WSS costs less than the general-purpose Windows Server 2003. WSS is based on Windows Server, but many of the general-purpose features were not locked, making it possible for a system builder to use WSS to build a general-purpose server. The R2 version of WSS, however, has locking mechanisms in place to prevent that, making its availability to the custom system builder community more of a possibility, he said.

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