Article ID: 120734
This article was previously published under Q120734
This article explains how Microsoft is using Microsoft Windows NT systems to provide large-scale customer support through the Internet.
HISTORYMicrosoft first established a public FTP server during the summer of 1993. During the first six months of operation, it handled about 280,000 anonymous logons. Use of this server increased dramatically as Internet popularity grew, and through the first half of 1994 the server was handling 250,000 anonymous logons per month and the T1 line (1.5 million bits per second) it used to reach the Internet became saturated. Microsoft examined the situation and decided to expand the services offered over the Internet.
Microsoft established three new Internet servers--each one an expandable multi-processor Windows NT version 3.5 server capable of handling millions of requests per month. To ensure adequate bandwidth for customer access to the servers, the T1 line was upgraded to a T3 line capable of 45 million bits per second.
CURRENT SERVICESThe key services being provided are Gopher and World Wide Web.
GOPHER SERVICEInternet Gopher services are available from gopher.microsoft.com on port
The Microsoft Gopher server contains over 50,000 Knowledge Base articles complete with full text search indexing. Simply click your way through the Knowledge Base article menu to a specific product, then select a search menu. Type in a keyword and all articles for that product are searched for it. A list of articles matching the search word is returned, and clicking on one of the displayed titles downloads that article for display. The top-level item "Welcome to the Microsoft Gopher Server" has instructions and updated information.
WORLD WIDE WEB SERVICEHTTP (or HyperText Transfer Protocol) is widely used on the Internet for publishing information with links to other items. It is often referred to as a HyperMedia service because it allows pointers to different media items: text, pictures, sounds, movies, etc. The Microsoft World Wide Web server named, www.microsoft.com contains information on the company's products and strategies. The home page (or top-level display) on the server also has pointers to gopher.microsoft.com, so it makes an ideal entry-point to Internet services at Microsoft. Microsoft is using public domain HTTP server software developed by the European Microsoft Windows NT Academic Centre (EMWAC). The server software and more information on its use can be found at emwac.ed.ac.uk in the directory pub/https.
Several public domain HTTP clients are available for many platforms including Microsoft Windows. One of the more popular ones, MOSAIC, is a multi-protocol browser that allows you to access any of the common Internet services from a GUI interface. This means that the client can attach to www.microsoft.com and view the homepage, then follow links to information on any of the other servers. Some of the links even point to servers elsewhere on the Internet.
FOR ASSISTANCEMicrosoft cannot provide end user assistance on the use of public domain clients to reach our servers. Please consult your client software documentation or vendor as needed. We welcome suggestions for content, reports of apparent server-end problems, and general comments. Send them to these email addresses:
Gopher: email@example.comDue to volume, individual email responses usually are not possible. All mail is read, but these are not product support aliases.
Article ID: 120734 - Last Review: July 10, 2002 - Revision: 1.0