Windows .NET Server Reaches Beta 3

Reports indicate that build 3590 of Windows .NET Server, formerly Whistler Server or Windows 2002, has been designated Beta 3. Registered testers and Microsoft partners can obtain the build from official download sites.

First announced at COMDEX Fall 2001 during Bill Gates's state of the industry keynote, Beta 3 is aimed squarely at developers. Despite numerous delays, .NET Server is now ready for primetime and Microsoft plans to push early adoption of the platform to further its Web services initiative. The next generation Windows Server will add native support for XML, SOAP, WSDL, and UDDI protocols, as well as integrate Microsoft's .NET Framework to enable rapid development of Web sites, services and applications.

Initially released alongside client versions of Whistler, which became Windows XP, server editions were renamed last June to reflect different shipping schedules. Windows .NET Server builds were also switched to higher numbers in the 3000 range to clarify the separation.

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Windows .NET will ship in four flavors, Web Server, Standard Server, Enterprise Server, and Datacenter Server. Microsoft has set up a Web page to explain differences in each version. All releases will include IIS 6.0, ASP.NET and the .NET Framework.

"Windows 2000 servers have achieved tremendous acceptance in the marketplace as the reliable, agile enterprise platform of choice for business, and we are building on that with the .NET Framework, improved manageability features, enhanced security and a number of powerful new technologies for communication and collaboration," said Cliff Reeves, Microsoft's vice president of the Windows .NET Server Solutions Group.

Beta 3 is the last beta milestone in the development of .NET Server. Release candidates are expected early next year, with a final version, or release to manufacturing, occurring by Q2 2002. For more information, visit Microsoft's .NET Server Family Home. Windows enthusiast Paul Thurrott has also posted a review of an internal .NET Enterprise Server build created a few weeks prior to Beta 3, showcasing changes made since March's Beta 2 release. A fix has been posted to Microsoft's download center that corrects issues found in the server's UDDI Services.

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