Microsoft Releases .Net Server 2003 RC2

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2002-12-05 Print this article Print

With release candidate 2, Microsoft completes final packaging for its four editions of .Net Server 2003.

Microsoft Corp. on Thursday announced that it has delivered the second release candidate for Windows .Net Server 2003. Customers can register to obtain a trial version of RC2 through the Customer Preview Program at Microsoft on Thursday also made available the second beta for its new Group Policy Management Console (GPMC), which is also available through the Customer Preview Program.
GPMC eases the management of Group Policy operations and will be available to Windows .Net Server 2003 customers as a free download.
"With RC2, Microsoft has completed final packaging for each of its four editions of Windows .Net Server 2003," said Bob OBrien, group product manager for Windows .Net Server. "This includes activated support for 64-way large multiprocessing systems with support for 512GB of memory for the high-end Datacenter Edition, enabling greater performance capacity and making it suitable for the most demanding applications and systems." Information on each of the .Net Server 2003 editions can be found at The final product is scheduled for next April, and will also bring certain licensing changes. Among these is a move away from the per-server and per-seat Client Access License (CAL) option currently in place to a model that allows per-user and per-server usage. The benefit of the per-user option, according to OBrien, is that it will allow a user to access their applications through the server using any of their devices. Up until now, users had to pay a separate CAL fee for every device. "Microsoft wants to provide better predictability, consistency and continuity in its licensing and licensing terms. Our customers wanted the option of a single CAL tied to an individual, which would also be less confusing and make it easier for them to administer. So we gave them that," he said. Microsoft is also replacing its Internet Connector for both Windows .Net Server 2003 and Windows .Net Server 2003 Terminal Server with the External Connector, allowing corporations to extend access in both an extranet scenario as well as via the Internet to their business partners and customers already supported by the current Internet Connector. Windows .Net Server 2003 will also introduce new Terminal Server functionality—essentially ways of accessing Windows desktop and server applications through terminal emulation—but access to it from all Windows client devices will now require a Terminal Server CAL, OBrien said. This is a shift from the previous situation where users with NT 4 workstation and server were automatically granted user access rights to Terminal Services in NT 4 server, at no cost. If the server and client were then upgraded to Windows 2000, they could continue to access Terminal Services on the Windows 2000 server at no charge. "To assure an effective transition, customers who have already purchased Windows XP Professional, currently have their Windows desktop under Enterprise Agreement or Software Assurance, or complete their purchase of Windows XP Professional before the servers availability, will be granted a Windows .NET Server 2003 TS CAL," OBrien said. However, he declined to comment on the financial effect of these licensing changes until official pricing is announced for the .Net Server. Some customers and consultants are not impressed by the move. An IT consultant told eWEEK that he felt Microsoft was "making hay while the sun shines. Microsoft is only getting businesses to agree to the new licensing scheme because of the horrific cost of converting all their Windows boxes at once. "But there is a growing push away from Microsoft towards Linux., which will only increase as they continue to try and force these licensing changes on customers," he said. Editors Note: This story has been updated since its original posting to include details of the release of Windows .Net Server 2003 RC2.
Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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