Microsoft Delivers Windows .NET Server RC1

At Wednesday's .NET briefing, Microsoft announced that Windows .NET Server has reached the much anticipated Release Candidate 1 milestone after two and a half years of development. RC1 marks the final phase of testing before the new operating system is released to manufacturing late this year. Beta testers will be given access to the RC1 code starting tomorrow.

Windows .NET Server is a significant upgrade over Windows 2000, with increased stability and performance in high-end business environments. More importantly, Windows .NET serves as the core to Web services on Windows and is essential to Microsoft fulfilling its .NET vision.

"We're delivering the features and improvements that our IT and developer audiences have told us they want most: improved security, greater reliability and better performance," said Microsoft's vice president of the Platforms Group, Jim Allchin. "Windows .NET Server is far easier to deploy, manage and operate, and it includes a comprehensive set of Web application services that make it easy to build powerful, connected solutions quickly. This is the most customer-driven release of Windows Server ever."

In order to promote the next-generation server platform, Microsoft has established a free preview program for those interested in evaluating Windows .NET Server RC1. Customers can register to download the release starting next week, or receive a preview CD kit next month. Microsoft hopes the program will entice customers to become early adopters of Windows .NET, and encourage development using the operating system's native .NET framework.

"This product is rock-solid," said Allchin. And to back up his claim, Redmond will transition fifty-percent of Microsoft.com to Windows .NET Server by the end of the week, and complete the switch next month.

Windows .NET will ship in four flavors: Web Server, Standard Server, Enterprise Server, and Datacenter Server. All releases will include IIS 6.0, ASP.NET and Microsoft's updated Windows Media Services. Microsoft plans to publicly release Windows .NET Server in early 2003.

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