Microsoft Corp. said this month it is pushing back the release date of Windows.Net Server by six months. The software, which is the next version of Windows 2000 Server, will ship in the second half of this year instead of the first. With the move, Microsoft also is delaying one of the server’s critical features, the .Net Framework, which is the runtime environment key to Microsoft’s .Net plan to deliver software as a set of components. Microsoft said the delay is in part a result of product development changes related to its “trustworthy computing” initiative, which is designed to harden the security of Microsoft products.

Voice mail inventor dies

His invention forever changed the way office workers get their telephone messages. Gordon Matthews, who invented voice mail, died Feb. 23 in Dallas after having suffered a stroke several days earlier. Mr. Matthews, 65, conceptualized his voice mail system in the late ’70s – reportedly after spotting a stack of discarded “While You Were Out” message slips – applied for a patent in 1979, and sold the first working machine to 3M Corp. shortly thereafter. Early on, the machines were too big and expensive – US$180,000 for 20 hours of storage capacity – to attract widespread corporate interest. Today, about 80 per cent of large corporations use voice mail.