This page displays an up-to-date listing of changes to our customer support web. We'll also place notices here regarding product updates, scheduled releases, or problems and work-arounds that may affect all customers. When bugs reported by our customers get fixed, we'll place a notice here, along with an estimate of when the fix will be shipped.
Wednesday, July 26th
Wednesday, August 2nd
Monday, August 7th
Last Update: 04/10/07
COM+: Components in the Middle Tier and how it compares to Enterprise Java Beans and CORBA.
Systems Management Server 2.0
Microsoft said Tuesday that it has finalized what versions of Windows 2000 it will offer and how many processors they will support.
No less than four different versions of Windows 2000 and will be out by "the end of 1999." All four versions are heavily slanted to corporate uses.
Windows 2000 Professional is aimed at mainstream business desktops and laptops and will support up to two processors.
Windows 2000 Server will support up to four processors and will serve as the replacement for NT Server.
Windows 2000 Advanced Server will fill "business-critical" web and application demands and will support clustering, and load balance up to eight processors.
Windows 2000 DataCenter Server will be the ultimate in NT scalability and will cluster up to 32 processors.
Not on the list of course, was Windows 2000 Consumer. W2K Consumer was going to be based on the Windows 98 kernel but Microsoft scrapped those plans and decided to go with a product called "Millenium." Pricing and minimum system requirements were not available.
It's superscalar, meaning it can execute more than one instruction per clock cycle (actually, nine, compared to five for the Pentium III), and superpipelined, meaning it has multiple, parallel paths for simultaneous, out-of-order execution of instructions. The Athlon has a 128KB level 1 cache (compared with 32KB for the Pentium III), and a unique, frequency-programmable level 2 design. Initial Athlons will have 512KB of level 2 cache, matching the Pentium III, but level 2 cache can scale all the way to 8MB, four times that of Intel's Pentium III Xeon chip.
With a 200MHz frontside bus (vs. 100MHz at present for the Pentium III), a new slot for the processor that is mechanically similar to Intel's Slot One (though electrically identical to Compaq's Alpha EV6 bus) and multiprocessor capability, it's easy to see that AMD is swinging for the bleachers. The Athlon also includes an "Enhanced" version of the company's 3DNow SIMD (single instruction, multiple data) instructions, with 24 new instructions. Nineteen of these instructions bring 3DNow's functionality to parity with the Pentium III's SSE instructions, and five are DSP (digital signal processor) instructions to improve the performance of soft modems, soft ADSL, MP3 and AC-3 decoding. The latest video drivers from 3dfx, Matrox and nVidia are already compatible with Enhanced 3DNow. ATI and S3 will roll their compliant drivers shortly, and you should expect compliant versions of DirectX and OpenGL in short order.
AMD is introducing the Athlon with an AMD chipset, but chipsets are currently being developed by ALi, SiS and VIA. American Megatrends, Award and Phoenix are all providing BIOS support, and motherboards are being introduced by ASUS, FIC, Gigabyte and Microstar.
First out of the gate with Athlon-based systems are IBM and Compaq (though Compaq's Presario 5861 won't be available to customers until September). AMD points out that nine of the top 10 worldwide PC vendors are shipping AMD-powered systems (No. 2 Dell is the lone holdout). Skeptics would point out that AMD has had problems shipping in volume with the introduction of new processors. AMD has responded to these fears by rolling out the Athlon in its proven, 0.25-micron process. The company is also trying to minimize support infrastructure problems by sticking with 100MHz SDRAM upon launch, though faster memory architectures will be introduced for the Athlon later on.
In fact, though the Athlon uses different motherboards and chipsets than Pentium III systems use, this is already the case with its K6-2 and K6-III processors. All other system components are identical to existing Pentium III PCs.
Intel demonstrated a 1GHz version of its Pentium III processor earlier this year, but the company is not expected to roll out its next iteration of the Pentium, code-named Coppermine, until late October. Coppermine is expected at 667MHz and 700MHz. Intel has demonstrated repeatedly its ferocious competitiveness, however, and is expected to respond to the Athlon's introduction through a series of moves to blunt the new challenge from AMD. Price cuts and early rollouts of processors and chipsets to make the Pentium III and Pentium III Xeon chips more competitive are the likeliest responses.
AMD chose to introduce the new Athlon brand (rather than using the code name, K7) to mark a break with its past policy of undercutting Intel's pricing by 25%, a policy that has left the company vulnerable to aggressive pricing strategies by Intel. AMD's new pricing strategy is to "offer a superior product at a fair price." Announced pricing for the Athlon at launch (in quantities of 1,000 chips) are: 650MHz, $849; 600MHz, $615; 550MHz, $449; and 500MHz, $249. Intel's 600MHz Pentium III sells for $669 in 1,000-chip quantities.
AMD plans to extend its Athlon brand with Athlon Ultra processors, aimed at enterprise server and workstation markets; Athlon Professional, aimed the enterprise high performance PC market; and Athlon Select, aimed at the value PC market.
The Athlon will be produced initially at AMD's Fab 25 facility in Austin, Texas. A new plant, Fab 30, opens in Dresden, Germany, next year, and will double production capacity.
With the introduction of Athlon, AMD for the first time competes with Intel across the company's entire product line of processors. Cynics will give you a dozen reasons why AMD will fail in its attempt to compete, among them the company's history of production problems, or the fact that other competitors have fallen by the wayside, or the fact that AMD has lost money for three straight years. That shouldn't detract from the stunning accomplishment Dirk Meyer and his team of designers at AMD have achieved. For the moment, AMD stands at the top of the heap in microprocessor design, and deserves credit for a job well done.
W3C XML 1.0 Standard
Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a meta-markup language that provides a
format for describing structured data. This facilitates more precise
declarations of content and more meaningful search results across multiple
platforms. In addition, XML will enable a new generation of Web-based data
viewing and manipulation applications.
Windows 2000 Active Directory will push network power and performance up to a new level. Office 2000 will automate and accelerate office workflow beyond what you've ever imagined.
Deploying Windows® 2000 Active Directory in Your Organization
Microsoft's Decision Support Services (DSS) is the new middle-tier server for
OnLine Analytical Processing (OLAP) that is shipping with SQL Server 7.0.
The Microsoft Outlook client works with Microsoft Exchange Server to help you:
- Access ALL your company information with the Digital Dashboard
- Improve communication with rock solid electronic mail
- Host meetings without walls with integrated scheduling real-time tools
- Make the Digital Nervous System a reality through electronic forms
Universal Data Access is for providing high-performance
access to all types of information. It provides easy-to-use, programmatic
access to all types of data throughout the enterprise. Data driven client/server
applications deployed over the Web or a LAN can use these components to easily
integrate information from a variety of sources, both relational (Microsoft(R)
SQL) and non-relational (Microsoft(R)Exchange, Microsoft(R)Word). Microsoft
Universal Data Access consists of four components: ActiveX(tm) Data Objects (ADO
2.1), Remote Data Service (RDS), the Microsoft OLE DB Provider for ODBC, and
Open Database Connectivity (ODBC). Building and using an OLEDB Provider.
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