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Microsoft, HP join to boost Windows NAS

Microsoft Corp. (http://www.microsoft.com) and Hewlett-Packard (HP) Co. (http://www.hp.com) this week signed an agreement aimed at boosting the visibility of both firms in the quickly emerging network attached storage (NAS) business. The move aims to expand the potential corporate customer base for both HP's StorageWorks offerings and Windows-based NAS networks, said officials of both firms.

The agreement calls for the companies to jointly deliver products and solutions that can enable server and storage consolidation and lower the total cost of storage ownership. Consulting firm Gartner-Dataquest (http://www.dataquest.com) estimates the current NAS market at $1.8 billion. Research from consultant IDC found that Windows-based NAS systems hold a 30% market share.

The agreement includes a so-called joint HP and Microsoft ''road show'' beginning in March in cities throughout North America, HP officials said. This will allow executives to preach how a bundled solution can help IT organizations build an adaptive infrastructure that can strengthen the link between IT and business objectives. Such an infrastructure lets users anticipate and respond rapidly to new market requirements and create new business opportunities.

Bob Muglia, senior vice president of Microsoft's Enterprise Storage Division, said his firm expects the HP agreement to boost its visibility in the NAS business, and to 'open up significant revenue opportunities for Microsoft and HP.'

''This collaboration will strengthen both players' position in the enterprise,'' said Steve Duplessie, senior analyst and founder, Enterprise Storage Group (http://www.enterprisestoragegroup.com), Milford Mass. The move, he added, can boost the positions of both HP and Microsoft ''in the enterprise. Microsoft gets a big partner to continue moving its NAS operating system into the data center. HP enhances its relationship with the fastest growing NAS player on top of its SAN business. In both cases, the ultimate customer gets better solutions.''

About the Author

Mike Bucken is former Editor-in-Chief of Application Development Trends magazine.

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