Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 23rd Dec 2010 19:19 UTC
Windows The rumours about Windows possibly being ported to ARM has left a lot of people bewildered; why would you port Windows NT when Windows CE 6.0 is a perfectly capable operating system? Putting all the pieces together, it's actually quite clear why you would want Windows NT on ARM: servers.
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This does make sense for small offices
by mbpark on Fri 24th Dec 2010 02:51 UTC
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Microsoft doesn't have anything in the SOHO market that supports Active Directory or cloud. They don't have that unifying product that can stave off Cisco or their Linux competitors that makes running SOHO IT easy and integrates cloud services.

Think of a NAS appliance that runs AD, Forefront (new ISA Server), SQL Express, WSUS, App-V, a Microsoft Security Essentials server, and connects to Microsoft's cloud services to run hosted Exchange, Sharepoint, and Azure. Think of being able to run third-party tools and services such as WebSense on this box as well.

Think of them being able to charge a monthly fee for data backup, services, and upkeep. This would create a cloud revenue stream that they do not currently have, provide a seamless interface for backing up AD and doing lots of other tasks companies require sysadmins for, and remove the need for dedicated admins for Exchange and Sharepoint from small companies.

Think of the fact that SOHO PCs can connect to this, be autoconfigured for WSUS, Exchange, Sharepoint, App-V deployment, Microsoft Security Essentials AV/Anti-Spyware, and web filtering, and work.

It's a very good strategy for companies that don't want to run a complex server infrastructure to get these features, and don't want to pay the huge initial licensing . You put a little 1U box the size of a network switch next to your Internet gateway, run a few wizards to configure it, and have Internet, content filtering, backups of all of your data, and the ability to restore it from a web browser.

Additionally, they can bring in selected third-party partners to run apps for it, put an App Store in for applications (with the various charges), and make running AD and Windows dead simple. They can also provide this as an endpoint for distributing applications such as Office via App-V.

Like I said, Cisco is getting close, and Google is offering cloud services that don't encompass everything the way Microsoft wants to.

Microsoft has a lot of tools at their disposal. If they can pull it together and offer their technologies tied together in one neat package like this, they really could present a valid alternative to companies looking to make network administration painless, and establish a recurring revenue stream to make money. It would also re-allocate a lot of money that goes to the likes of Symantec, McAfee/Intel, Carbonite, and Google to Microsoft.

Most importantly, it means a recurring revenue stream that could be worth billions of dollars a year that currently is going to their competitors and partners. Unfortunately, it would give Microsoft a degree of control over PCs that they only wish they could have had previously, since they would have the ability to turn off the switch if someone doesn't pay the bill.

Windows Server is probably already running on ARM anyway. Microsoft doesn't release all of their ports of Windows NT (remember they did port to SPARC, and reportedly to the 68K processors). It would not cost much money to build these devices and sell them at an initial loss, while making up the cost on a monthly "utility" bill.

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