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When a company claims to combine high performance, ease of administration, and low total cost of ownership in a single solution, IT professionals and businessmen take notice. And this is precisely what more than 2,000 guests from different industries discovered at the recent launch of Windows Server 2003. Hosted by news anchor Mari Kaimo, the event at the Rizal Ballroom of the Makati Shangri-la Hotel was studded with people curios about what sets this new server product apart.

The ballroom was done in stark German industrial style, basking in an amber glow. Microsoft Philippines General Manager Kevin Hou welcomed the crowd, bringing them down memory lane as he showed how Windows has matured and developed through the years. "Microsoft grew up with you," he said. "We will continue to develop products that will help you realize your full potential".

Mike Hamlin, Team Asia Managing Director, and Ilocos Norte Representative Imee Marcos both talked about technology’s role in business and in the country’s development. HP Managing Director Nilo Cruz focused on the successful partnership between Microsoft and HP.

Highlights include various demos showing the capabilities of Windows Server 2003 as well as video case studies from early adopters of the product: ABS-CBN Interactive, Development Bank of the Philippines and Stradcom-LTO. Two other Microsoft products - Visual Studio.NET 2003 and SQL Server 64-Bit were also launched.

Aside from Windows Server 2003’s beefed-up security, scalability, and reliability features, Microsoft also announced the availability of locally-developed applications currently running on Windows Server 2003. These include applications for banking and finance, human resources, customer relationship management, online systems and academic facilities.
After the plenary session, the event moved into five separate, exciting tracks targeting IT implementers, developers, system architects, and those on the lookout for cutting-edge solutions. Hands-on laboratories which let attendees experience first-hand the features of Windows Server 2003 and Visual Studio .NET 2003 were filled to capacity.

The Windows Server 2003 expo was participated in by more than 30 different organizations including – platinum sponsors Computer Associates, Hewlett-Packard, INQ7.net, and Smart; diamond sponsors APC, Dell, Microsoft Business Solutions , and Veritas; silver sponsors Asus, Chase Technologies, Inc., Computerworld Philippines, dB Wizards, MIS Net, and SAP; and bronze sponsors New Horizons, Stag Philippine and Training.Net.

Organizations such as Philippine Computer Society, Philippine Internet Commerce Society, Pocket PC User Group, RosettaNet and the Society of IT Managers and Professionals were also present at the launch.

With the launch of Windows Server 2003, Microsoft has one ultimate goal – to give businesses large or small the opportunity to maximize their IT resources, no matter how limited – in short, to do more with less.
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