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Microsoft Raises NAS Roof

CHICAGO -- Storage Decisions 2003 -- Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) said today that its much-anticipated Windows Storage Server 2003 has finally hit the market and that a number of its OEM partners are rolling out products to support it (see Microsoft Ships Windows NAS Server).

Microsoft started trumpeting its new platform at the break of dawn today at the Storage Decisions 2003 conference here. The company had a long line of storage hardware and software vendors in tow, each of which eagerly declared their undying support for the new file and print server software (see Vendors Jump to Back Microsoft NAS).

This just hits the sweet spot of where the market is right now,” said Chuck Hollis, VP of storage platform marketing at EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC). “Customers want tools that work and that they know how to use.” EMC, of course, is Microsoft’s newest dance partner in the NAS space (see EMC Kisses Microsoft's NAS).

At this morning’s briefing, Bob Muglia, senior VP of Microsoft’s Enterprise Storage Division, said that the company has already signed on more than 20 OEM partners for the platform, including EMC, Dell Computer Corp. (Nasdaq: DELL), Fujitsu Ltd. (OTC: FJTSY), and Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ). While the availability of NAS systems based on the software will depend on the individual partners, Muglia says he expects most of the OEMs to have rolled out products that incorporate Windows Storage Server by the end of this year.

Note that IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) was not among the list of Microsoft's partners: Big Blue inexplicably discontinued its Windows-based NAS systems this summer (see IBM Kills Runts of NAS Litter).

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