Longhorn Server Beta 1 Set for Summer

Microsoft plans to ship the first beta of Longhorn Server shortly after Longhorn client Beta 1 reaches testers this summer, with all signs pointing to an August debut. Windows Server head Bob Muglia also said the company is considering a version of Longhorn Server designed for home use.

The revelations came in an online Web chat on Wednesday, in which the moderator asked participants to "please join us in the first part of August for a chat about Longhorn Server Beta 1." Microsoft Watch first reported the news, noting that it would be uncharacteristic for Microsoft to hold a chat before it releases the code.

During Wednesday's chat, Muglia took questions from users ranging from improvements slated for Longhorn Server to the future of Active Directory. In response to a query on whether Microsoft would deliver a version of Longhorn Server designed to manage multiple systems in a home environment, Muglia hinted such a SKU might be planned.

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"We are always looking for new opportunities where server technology can be leveraged, and the home definitely represents an exciting new area that we are looking at along with many others. Much of the great storage, replication, and management technology would be great in a home," Muglia said, according to Microsoft Watch. "We have seen many people install Small Business Servers at home, which really works quite well."

Longhorn Server is slated to ship in 2007, after the release of its client counterpart. The next-generation Windows Server will focus on securing the system by making it easier to configure the OS to handle only a specific task, such as Web server or domain controller.

Microsoft representatives would not comment on the August release timeframe, or whether a home edition of Longhorn Server in indeed in the works.

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