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-- by John Ruley
Don't look now, but Microsoft is trying to storm the Internet ranks with yet another product family. Code-named Normandy, this new server software line leverages Microsoft's Internet Information Server (IIS) and Windows NT Server 4.0.
Normandy servers (http://www.ms-normandy.com) include Internet News, Chat, Mail, Data Replication, Information Searches ("Web-crawler"), Directory ("white pages"), Membership and Merchant (on-line sales) software. Microsoft is positioning the Normandy family for Internet service providers and selected Fortune 500 companies interested in electronic commerce.
In principle, any Web browser may be used with Normandy if proper detection code is embedded into the relevant Web pages.
The first Normandy offering to ship is Merchant Server. It costs $18,500 per server (not including Microsoft's required SQL Server database) and $3,500 per electronic "storefront" on each Normandy server. Pricing and exact availability were not announced for other Normandy components as of this writing.