Windows Server ’Longhorn’ Reaches Beta 3

Microsoft has unveiled 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 now. The final version of Windows Server "Longhorn" is on track for release to manufacturing in the second half of 2007.

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, Read-Only Domain Controllers and the Windows Firewall with Advanced Security. The newest version of Microsoft's Web server, Internet Information Services 7.0, also provides a more secure, extensible platform for efficiently managing and reliably hosting Web applications and services. Microsoft is today 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.

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.

The Beta 3 release of Windows Server "Longhorn" marks the beginning of the second wave of innovation to be delivered by Microsoft over the next year. Following on the heels of the successful launch of Windows Vista and the 2007 Office system are Windows Server "Longhorn" and the next versions of Visual Studio, code-named "Orcas", and Microsoft SQL Server, code-named "Katmai." These products will provide organizations with an advanced development and Web platform as well as streamlined data management and analysis, enabling infrastructure optimization.

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