The next release of Microsoft Corp.’s Office productivity software will only work on Windows XP and on Windows 2000 operating systems that have Service Pack 3 installed, the company said, citing security and compatibility issues with older systems.

The company could shift its plans if it receives overwhelming feedback from customers, a spokesperson said. As it currently stands, Office 11 won’t be designed for installation on PCs running Windows ME (Millennium Edition), Windows NT, Windows 98, Windows 98 SE (Second Edition) and Windows 95. The company disclosed its plans after reports surfaced that operating system support in beta testing would be limited. BetaNews, a Web site devoted to information about products under development, reported that Microsoft first disclosed its plans in a message board for Office 11 beta testers, citing a posting attributed to a Microsoft developer. “There were a number of reasons for removing support for Windows 9x. As a number of you have noted, Windows 98 and 98 SE are getting a bit old now. It also relates heavily to the push to improve security in our products. Windows 9x is inherently insecure,” the posting read, according to BetaNews.

Platform Computing readies performance tool

Platform Computing Inc. has announced Platform Intelligence, its new performance management portal equipped with pre-packaged analytics. This approach aims to combine the developing concept of grid computing with network management to make the most of IT resources.

Platform Intelligence is designed to help customers boost enterprise-wide underperforming IT assets through visibility into application consumption and usage affecting business priorities within large distributed and heterogeneous computing environments, said Paul Hill, vice president of marketing and business development of Toronto-based Platform Computing. The solution features an agent framework and supports Oracle8/8i/9/9i for database management. The Platform Intelligence server supports Windows NT 4.0, Sun Solaris, HP-UX and IBM AIX.