First .NET Enterprise Server Suite Complete with Mobile Server

The final piece of the first generation of .NET Enterprise Servers has gone gold, completing the unofficial suite of .NET Enterprise Server software launched in September.

Mobile Information Server 2001 released to manufacturing Tuesday and is scheduled for general availability in June.

Microsoft Corp. describes the server as a mobile applications server for extending the reach of applications, data and intranet content to mobile devices.

As a standalone product, the server gives Microsoft a position in the crowded mobile integration market. Of greater importance to Microsoft is having its own code near the center of its .NET initiative.

Mobile Information Server (MIS) 2001 is one of the few servers in the suite right now that makes .NET much more than a wink and a promise. While several of Microsoft’s .NET Enterprise Servers are prepped for XML and SOAP, MIS 2001 is completely designed for pushing server-based content out mobile devices. That idea is central to Microsoft’s plans for the future of computing -- bringing any information to any device.

When available for sale in June, MIS 2001 will join three new servers: Application Center, BizTalk Server and Internet Security & Acceleration Server 2000. Other .NET Enterprise Servers that existed in some form prior to 2000 are SQL Server, Exchange Server, the overhauled Host Integration Server and Commerce Server.

RTM comes seven months after Microsoft first hinted at MIS 2001’s existence at the .NET Enterprise Server launch event in late September. That launch marked Microsoft’s official departure from the BackOffice Suite. BackOffice continues to exist as a small and medium business package.

The .NET Enterprise Server family evolved slightly earlier this month with Microsoft’s purchase of nCompass Labs COM-based content management product, nCompass Resolution 4.0. Microsoft will re-release the product as the Microsoft Content Manager Server 2001 this fall. Mobile Information Server includes Microsoft Outlook Mobile Access, which will give mobile users access to e-mail from Exchange 2000 and Exchange 5.5 servers.

Microsoft chose to set pricing for Mobile Information Server on a per-user basis even as it moves to per-processor licensing for many of its .NET Enterprise Servers.

Pricing for Mobile Information Server will be $75 per seat with Outlook Mobile Access and $15 per seat for the Mobile Information Server middleware functionality alone.

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About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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