September 19, 1996 12:00 PM PDT

MS Slate runs apps, systems

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ATLANTA--Microsoft (MSFT) showcased a new technology, code-named Slate, at Networld+Interop that provides users with a common Windows NT management console for applications and systems.

In addition, Microsoft officials revealed plans to release a pre-beta version of its next-generation directory service at a Microsoft developer's conference in Long Beach, California, in November.

The Slate technology is scheduled to be rolled into Windows NT server 5.0, both of which are due in the second half of 1997. The directory services piece will also be part of that rollout.

The Slate technology will let MIS departments segment management duties to different groups of administrators. Slate can be used as a container for ActiveX controls that will let users access the functionality of other applications' features, according to Microsoft officials.

"One of the key features is to give a dynamic way for MIS managers to manage their networks," said Enzo Schiano, product manager for Microsoft's Windows NT Server. "Slate gives you that flexibility."

That will allow administrators to gain a geographic view of their network based on Systems Management Server and Slate.

The next-generation directory service is modeled on the current Windows NT service with more flexibility features as well as the ability to view the network in a hierarchical way. Tne new version will also include a Web-based interface and improve scalability. Schiano said the new services have been tested with 10 million objects.

Microsoft also disclosed plans to have a 64-bit version of Windows NT available at the same time Intel releases its 64-bit Merced microprocessor. But that technology keeps being pushed back, now scheduled for release in 1998.

"If 64 bits is embraced, it's going to be a while" for that version of NT, Schiano said. The 64-bit version of Windows NT will be a post-5.0 release.

With the release of Windows NT 5.0, Microsoft will have added all the features that Cairo, the internal code name for a series of Windows NT upgrades, had promised, according to Jeff Price, a Microsoft product manager.

 

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