Today, Microsoft will officially launch its most scalable version of Windows 2000, along with several 2000-level Enterprise Server products, at an event called "Serverpalooza." Well, Microsoft also refers to it as the "Enterprise Server Launch Event," but whatever the name, the company will launch BizTalk Server 2000, SQL Server 2000, Application Center 2000, Exchange Server 2000, Commerce Server 2000, Host Integration Server 2000, Internet Security and Acceleration Server 2000, along with its high-end UNIX-killer, Windows 2000 Datacenter Server. The event, which will be broadcasted via satellite to Microsoft offices around America, will include a 90-minute keynote by Microsoft president and CEO Steve Ballmer and plenty of .NET information.

"This will be a defining year for Microsoft and our industry," said company chairman Bill Gates, earlier this summer. "We launched our flagship product, Windows 2000, to rave reviews and solid customer adoption. We're on the eve of delivering an unparalleled range of the most scalable, highest-quality servers ever brought to market at one time by one company. And we've just outlined the .NET vision, which we believe will guide development for the next generation of the Internet. It's going to be an amazing millennium for the company."

For Microsoft, that millennium begins tonight with the launch of what Microsoft is referring to as its .NET Enterprise Server, which are all designed to embrace XML, the basic technology behind of .NET. The .NET Enterprise Servers, collectively, will form the basis of Microsoft's Internet strategy going forward as the company transitions to a Web services company.

As for Windows 2000 Datacenter Server, Microsoft finally has a scalable, reliable contender in the high-end space with an OS that supports up to 32 processors and 64 GB of memory. "We're looking at two classes of customers," says group product manager Michel Gambier. "The more traditional high-end customers and the hosting market. Application service providers need a large infrastructure that's very reliable and very scalable." Datacenter was originally expected in June, but it was delayed along with the Service Pack 1 (SP1) code that further distances it from the other releases of Windows 2000