Feeds

MS, Intel demo mutant thin server appliance

It's not thin, it's not cheap, and it doesn't do much bar file and print. Welcome to the twilight zone...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Mobile application security vulnerability report

Microsoft's first showing of NT Embedded yesterday took the form of the first demonstration of an alleged 'thin server appliance' co-developed with Intel. But the implementation seems strangely changed from the thin server appliances Intel has been bashing on about since last summer, and it seems inevitable that the device's appearance does not signal a renewal of the formerly close relationship between the gruesome twosome. Intel's thin server concept is for a cheap, closed down box that's easy to install, and performs simple, specific tasks on the network. (Intel network scheme means war with MS) Something you plug into a small business network and then magically find your print, email and so forth problems are sorted fits the bill perfectly. Intel also doesn't want any nonsense about huge multi-purpose operating systems, it wants single or limited task ones. So traditional embedded operating systems fit the bill here, rather than bigger, multi-purpose ones like NT Embedded. Intel also insists that per user licensing is out of the window - if a thin server network is having to pay a couple of hundred dollars to Microsoft for each person connected, then it's not low cost at all, is it? We remarked on how obviously Microsoft NT didn't fit the bill as the operating system at the time of Intel's announcement, and we remain right. Yesterday's demo did make a small breakthrough on licensing. It would appear that Microsoft is willing to let the box host an unlimited number of users, but while this might appear to be a massive breakthrough on licensing, check out the catches. The thin server is intended to handle file and print sharing, not application hosting. It will deal with Internet connectivity, but the no application hosting aspect means no Web server hosting, so -- phew -- we're not going to have that problem of people trying to host Web servers on NT Workstation rearing its ugly head again. In its "thin server appliance" incarnation, NT Embedded is therefore crippled. How badly crippled remains to be seen, but as you begin to compare features with projected features for the next generation Windows 2000 NT variant, you'll no doubt note it is very badly crippled indeed. Microsoft is obviously trying to preserve revenue streams. It doesn't want to lose high margin business on NT server sales, and it doesn't want to lose all those lovely client licences. But it does have to do something about simplified, stripped-down boxes and network operating systems. And here it's shooting itself in the foot with this particular project. It's quoting a price for an OEM-built thin server appliance of $1,000-$2,000, which is of course basically a standard PC price. No surprises there, as there's going to be a standard PC in there with the screen and keyboard chopped out. The price leaves space for MS to charge something in the region of the usual amount for its software, so again no nasty precedents created here. But Intel's view of a thin server appliance lies more around the $399-$499 mark. You can do file and print perfectly adequately at this level, so what is it about the MS variant that's worth an extra $1,500? Users will vote with their wallets. ®

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.