Longhorn Server In the Works?

Microsoft officials are not ruling out the possibility of some type of a server release with the next upgrade of the Windows client, code-named Longhorn.

With Windows Server 2003 now out the door, Microsoft Corp. officials are not ruling out the possibility of some type of a server release when the next upgrade of the Windows client, code-named Longhorn, ships in some 18 months.

Microsoft server officials have to date given conflicting statements concerning a Longhorn server update.

"We could deliver a set of feature pack type of things in that time frame, which is something Im focused on now. I mean wow, the group policy, the group policy management console, Microsoft Identity Server, Windows SharePoint Services, all necessitated changes in Windows Server 2003 that weve done and then theyll build off that platform.

"Those are things I think youll see us continuing to provide," Bill Veghte, the corporate vice president of Microsofts Windows Server group, told eWEEK in an interview.

Customers could also hear more about the Automated Deployment Services in June. "I look at those and I say that these are the types of things I can do in 18 months. These could be delivered as a Longhorn Limited server release," he conceded, adding "I think well do some rationalization of them for customers as an update."

The server team is now looking at which core set of customer problems to address next. "The exercises we are going through now are what are those and when can we deliver them, which are two different things," he said.

But Veghte said he stood behind his comments to eWEEK earlier this month that doing a server release on an 18-month time frame was not realistic. "It is very hard to do a server release that represents the customer advancement in an 18-month turn and then go and tell the customers to rev their servers again," he said at that time.

Now that Windows Server 2003 is out of the way, the team will focus on the next server release, code-named Blackcomb.

"Broadly, Im pretty excited about the role the server can play. You hear a lot about the Longhorn wave of products for Microsoft. At the root the server offers connections to people, technologies and businesses and offers greater scale as well as centralized security and management as opposed to peer to peer," he said.

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