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Tue, Jun 29, 2004 - Page 12 News List

Fujitsu, Microsoft to develop `Longhorn'

AFP , TOKYO

Microsoft Corp and Japan's top computer maker Fujitsu Ltd said Monday they have agreed to jointly develop next-generation Windows-based servers for release from next year.

Fujitsu and Microsoft said global sales from the new servers, software products and services are expected to reach ?800 billion (US$7.2 billion) by 2007.

The revenue will be shared between the two firms.

They will collaborate in developing Fujitsu's next-generation Intel Itanium Processor family-based server for Windows Server 2003 and the next-generation Windows "Longhorn" server.

They will also join forces in platform integration services and mission-critical customer support services, which typically run 24 hours a day, for example, to offer accounting.

Fujitsu will launch in the first half of 2005 the next-generation Intel Itanium-based server for Windows Server 2003 and release in 2007 the more advanced server, using "Longhorn" technology.

Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer stressed the importance of the two firms' alliance that now dates back four years.

"Fujitsu is really one of our most important global partners in terms of the work that we are trying to do to help the largest enterprises realize their opportunity to move to mission-critical computing on an Intel-platform machine," he told a joint news conference.

"We've committed to take our global alliance to the next frontier beyond enterprise computing to mission critical computing, which really has been a cornerstone of Fujitsu's business for many many years but is really an emerging part of Microsoft's business," he said.

The companies will form a joint team of several dozens of engineers for the project at Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Washington state, in the second half of the year, Fujitsu officials said.

"This is the first time that companies which are not based in the US will have had direct access to the engineering force behind Windows Servers," Fujitsu corporate executive vice president Chiaki Ito told reporters.

Fujitsu is moving to enrich its product line-up in the open platform server segment.

It announced earlier this month a separate strategic alliance with German software giant SAP AG in the Linux-based IT platform business.

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