Microsoft Corp. officials told beta testers on Thursday that the second beta release of its Windows Server 2003 R2 update is now available for download.
Microsoft made the R2 Beta 2 bits available on its Betaplace Web site.
R2 is a fairly minor version of Windows Server, built on the recently released Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1) code base. R2 integrates a number of the myriad Windows Server 2003 feature packs that Microsoft has shipped since April 2003, plus adds a few new features.
Among the new features slated for inclusion in R2: a new file migration tool kit; simple-SAN management tools; a new storage-resource-management subsystem (code-named Corral); and centralized file and print management facilities.
The R2 release is slated to ship by the end of calendar 2005.
Microsoft announced Beta 1 of R2 in December. There were about 1,500 testers who got the initial Beta 1 drop, Microsoft officials said. Since then, Microsoft added 1,300 more testers to the R2 ranks.
Build 1939 is the official R2 Beta 2 version number, testers said. But Microsoft recently identified R2 Build No. 1927 as the "Beta 2 Escrow Build."
According to testers, who requested anonymity, Build 1927 included a number of changes from the Beta 1 build. (These changes are still part of 1939, testers said.)