While many Windows watchers have been keeping a close eye on the forthcoming Service Pack 2 for Windows XP, Microsoft Corp. is working simultaneously on another service pack: the first for Windows Server 2003.
Microsoft has said to expect the final Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1) release to ship in the latter half of 2004. It has not said when SP1 will enter broad-scale public beta testing.
But earlier this week, according to the ieXbeta Windows enthusiast site, Microsoft released to a group of private testers a third interim test build of SP1.
Like XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), Server 2003 SP1 will include a number of new security features. The private testers are working with the client inspection, remote procedure call (RPC), Distributed Component Object Model (DCOM) and firewall enhancements.
SP1 also is slated to lay the groundwork for Windows Server 2003s 64-bit support. The latest test build, No. 1184, adds support for 64-bit Extended Systems—i.e., systems running AMD Opteron and Athlon 64-bit processors, according to information from the ieXbeta site.
Microsoft has said it plans to roll out a number of new Windows Server 2003 64-bit SKUs simultaneously with SP1. Beta testers are currently testing these SKUs.
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