Microsoft Releases First Public Beta for Longhorn

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2007-04-25 Print this article Print

This feature-complete, third beta brings with it the ability to simplify administration tasks via improved event logging, task scheduling, enhanced remote management and the scripting capabilities of Windows PowerShell.

Microsoft will release the feature-complete, third beta for Windows Server "Longhorn" on April 25, which is also the first public beta of the software. The product remains on track for release to manufacturing in the second half of 2007, and the beta code can be downloaded here.
Some 10,000 people in Microsofts technical beta program have already tested the product, while thousands more downloaded or received the second beta and the Community Technology Preview that followed through their TechNet and MSDN subscriptions, Helene Love Snell, the senior product manager for Windows Server, told eWEEK.  
"We will be distributing beta 3 as broadly as possible to ensure the maximum number of IT professionals, developers and partners test and evaluate the new features. Our distribution programs will offer this chance to literally hundreds of thousands of people," she said. Microsoft executive Bob Muglia has said that Windows Server "Longhorn" and Windows Vista SP1 will ship together. Click here to read more. Windows Server "Longhorn" builds on the improved reliability and security of Windows Server 2003 R2, and brings with it the ability to simplify administration tasks via improved event logging, task scheduling, enhanced remote management and the scripting capabilities of Windows PowerShell, she said. Some of the new or improved features in beta 3 include a server manager console that now has additional remote administration tools to provide a more integrated management environment and Windows Firewall with Advanced Security, now on by default, to provide a persistent and more secure environment beginning at install, she said. Also in the beta is Active Directory Federation Services improvements, which let customers implement new policies and make it easier to set up a relationship between trusted partners, and the Server Core installation option, which now comes with additional roles and enhanced functionality, such as print services and Active Directory Lightweight Services. "The new Server Core installation option is a minimal installation of Windows Server Longhorn available with the standard, enterprise and datacenter editions. All of the core kernel components and subsystems are present, such as networking, file I/O and security, but the graphical user interface and graphical utilities such as the server manager, Microsoft Management Console and Internet Explorer are not," Snell said. Click here to read more about how Microsoft has delayed the release of Viridian and Virtual Server 2005 R2. This provides a reduced server footprint and potential attack surface, which should result in less maintenance and greater security and reliability, she said, adding that a Server Core installation can still be managed remotely using traditional Microsoft and third-party tools, while local administration can be done through command line utilities, she said. Some customers, such as Juergen Otter, the senior Active Directory architect at Siemens AG, are pleased with the enhancements. "We are very excited about beta 3. We love the new features in Active Directory and the improvements to Terminal Server," he said. The product also includes a range of security enhancements, including reducing the server footprint and potential attack surface with the new Server Core installation option, while features like Microsoft Network Access Protection, Read-Only Domain Controllers and the Windows Firewall with Advanced Security help monitor system health. IIS (Internet Information Services) 7.0, the newest version of Microsofts Web server, also provides a more secure, extensible platform for efficiently managing and reliably hosting Web applications and services, Snell said. Customers now will be able to host Web applications and .NET 3.0 Web services on Windows Server "Longhorn" beta 3 in live production environments, using the new IIS7 Go Live license. "The IIS7 Go Live license limits the live production use of Windows Server "Longhorn" beta 3 to Web workloads only requiring IIS7, including Windows SharePoint Services. The IIS7 Go Live License lets organizations push IIS7 into their production Web serving environments, while enabling Web developers to Go Live with their Web sites and applications on free hosted offers," she said. Five hosters, MaximumASP,, Applied Innovations, and Web Fusion, are already using the IIS7 Go Live license to offer Free IIS7 beta hosting to attract bleeding-edge developers to their sites, while another three—CrystalTech, Mosso and Affinity—plan to have offers up within the next two weeks. Read more here about how Microsoft and Novell have expanded their technical collaboration plans. Next Page: Impact on Infrastructure?

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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