Microsoft released the first publicly available test version of the next edition of Windows Server, code-named "Longhorn". The release allows people to evaluate the increased control, flexibility and protection built into Microsoft Windows Server "Longhorn" Beta 3, available for download today at http://www.microsoft.com/getbeta3. The final version of Windows Server "Longhorn" is on track for release to manufacturing in the second half of 2007.
"As they take it for a test drive, our customers and partners will find we made some vast improvements in Windows Server Longhorn to help them reduce costs and adapt to changing business needs," said Bill Laing, general manager of the Windows Server Division at Microsoft. "Between early adopter customers and Microsoft IT, we have hundreds of servers running in production environments today. If there’s one message we want to send today, it is get ready, download and evaluate."
IT professionals face increasing pressure from rapidly changing technology, security concerns, increasing costs and expanding business needs. Windows Server "Longhorn" builds on the improved reliability and security of Windows Server 2003 R2 to help alleviate these pressures by addressing the automation of daily management tasks, tightening security, improving efficiency and increasing availability.
According to Microsoft internal research, approximately 70 percent of an IT budget is devoted to daily management tasks, indicating a high demand for services such as help desk, infrastructure health monitoring, and systems and update management. Windows Server "Longhorn" helps simplify administration tasks via improved event logging, task scheduling, enhanced remote management and the powerful scripting capabilities of Windows PowerShell.
In addition, innovative security technologies help prevent future attacks by helping reduce the server footprint and potential attack surface with the new Server Core installation option, and by providing ongoing health monitoring and compliance through new features such as Microsoft Network Access Protection (NAP), Read-Only Domain Controllers and the Windows Firewall with Advanced Security. The newest version of Microsoft’s Web server, Internet Information Services (IIS) 7.0, also provides a more secure, extensible platform for efficiently managing and reliably hosting Web applications and services. Microsoft is announcing the availability of the IIS7 Go Live license, which will allow customers to host Web applications and .NET 3.0 Web services on Windows Server "Longhorn" Beta 3 in live production environments.
Efficient and ready access to business data from virtually anywhere is necessary to keep businesses productive and connected. New remote access features such as Terminal Services Gateway, Terminal Services Easy Print and Terminal Services RemoteApp provide end users with dramatically improved experiences and more scalable remote access to centralized applications and server resources.
To help IT professionals improve the availability, reliability and performance of their infrastructure, Windows Server "Longhorn" includes simplified failover clustering, dynamic partitioning and auto-tuning networking features to automatically manage system resources and help ensure that customers have uninterrupted and optimized access to their company network.
Today in Beta 3, customers will see new features and enhancements that include stronger security, better performance, new server roles and features, and additional server management and remote administration tools.
“We are very excited about Beta 3. We love the new features in Active Directory® and the improvements to Terminal Server,” said Juergen Otter, senior Active Directory architect at Siemens AG.
New and improved features in Beta 3 include the following:
- Windows PowerShell is now included in the product.
- Active Directory Federation Services improvements allow customers to implement new policies and make it easier to set up a relationship between trusted partners.
- The Server Core installation option now comes with additional roles and enhanced functionality, such as print services and Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services.
- The Server Manager console includes additional remote administration tools to provide a more integrated management environment.
- Windows Firewall with Advanced Security, now on by default, provides a persistent and more secure environment beginning at installation.
- NAP is integrated with Microsoft Update and Windows Update to enable administrators to decide which updates are critical and set policies accordingly. It also has a new administrative interface for simplified setup, scalability and better performance.
Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) and Intel Corporation are among the worldwide partners welcoming the Windows Server "Longhorn" Beta 3 release.
“"AMD applauds the beta 3 release of Windows Server ‘Longhorn’ and encourages customers to download and begin their evaluations today," said Joe Menard, corporate vice president of software strategy at AMD. “As a next-generation operating system, Windows Server ‘Longhorn’ is designed to take advantage of the innovative features of the AMD Opteron processor, including 64-bit, multicore, virtualization and power management. The combination of AMD dual- and ‘Barcelona’ native quad-core processors and Windows Server ‘Longhorn’ will provide a world-class performance-per-watt computing environment and enable IT managers to maximize budgets without compromising performance or efficiency.”
“Windows Server "Longhorn" Beta 3 is an important next step toward the future of IT infrastructure management in data centers,” said Diane Bryant, vice president of the Digital Enterprise Group and general manager of the Server Platforms group at Intel. “The combination of multicore Intel Xeon processor technology and Intel Itanium2 processor technology and Windows Server ‘Longhorn’ will maximize control for customers over their infrastructure while providing unprecedented availability, energy efficiency, flexibility and IT productivity.”