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Normandy may get Tiger in its tank

Normandy, Microsoft's suite of server software for intranets and the Internet, may roar like Tiger.

Normandy, Microsoft's suite of server software for intranets and the Internet, may roar like Tiger some day.

The first version isn't in beta testing yet, but Microsoft (MSFT) says that if customers want live, streaming media such as video, they'll consider adding that feature to future editions.

"We will look at interesting opportunities," said product manager Mike Ahern, who includes a streaming media server on that list. That's where Tiger, Microsoft's code name for a media server from the interactive-TV hype days, might come in.

Normandy's beta code will go to testers next month. When the final product ships to customers in late December or early January, it will be offered in eight or nine pieces so that customers can buy what they need, Ahern said.

Elements include a personalization server now used by MSNBC and the Microsoft Network to make custom content for an individual and a content replication server that allows multiple users to publish on the same Web server.

Also in the Normandy family: servers for chat, newsgroups, email, search and retrieval, membership for personal profiles on commercial services, and electronic commerce.

Microsoft's Merchant server, based on technology purchased with eShop earlier this year, will be part of the Normandy family but may be marketed separately, Ahern said. Merchant server also is due to ship late this year.