Microsoft drops the .NET in its new operating system's name

Apparently, there's a lot in a name. Just when we started getting

accustomed to Microsoft's software naming strategy - using the year for

different iterative releases - it threw us a loop and started tossing

around the .NET naming convention. For a time, this confused many of us

who were trying to develop upon the .NET platform (which you can read

more about at, and use .NET server


A few years prior to .NET, Microsoft received a lot of customer

opposition when the company deviated from the NT name in its release of

Windows 2000 Server. Even today, customers still refer to Microsoft's

Windows-based Server operating system as "NT".

And as you may already know, Microsoft has done it again. What has been

known as "Windows .NET Server 2003" is now officially referred to as

"Windows Server 2003". The new operating system is expected to be ready

in April and according to Microsoft, the change is part of a larger

naming and branding strategy for .NET.

This time around, however, the name change isn't necessarily a bad thing

- at least not from my perspective. The new moniker definitely clarifies

the product name, and like the old saying goes, change is inevitable.

Microsoft e-mailed a letter to its partners in early January describing

the strategy behind the name change. If you haven't seen it yet, you can

find it at:

Watch here for upcoming articles on the new features and utilities

available in this latest release of Windows Server 2003.

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