Shedding Light on Windows Server 2003 R2

Management console will be updated, and Active Directory Federation Services will debut, Microsoft official tells says.

LOS ANGELES—Bob Muglia, Microsoft Corp.s senior vice president for Windows Server, on Thursday shed some light on the upcoming Windows Server 2003 R2 release during his keynote address at the Professional Developers Conference here.

R2, which is due later this year, would bring features such as Services for Unix, the WS-Management standard, along with the next generation of the management console, MMC 3.0. "Closing the loop between developers and operational systems still has a long way to go, but delivering MMC 3.0 is the first deliverable in that regard," Muglia said.

"With R2, well also deliver the first version of Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) to make it easier for developers to build federated Web applications. In the Windows Vista timeframe, we will deliver WinFX and the InfoCard user experience," he said.

"With Windows Server Longhorn, we will begin to align the existing technologies around a common architecture, policy, developer model and management experience. Later in the Longhorn wave, Microsoft will add new capabilities to Active Directory, such as the Security Token Service, to simplify identity and access in a service-oriented world.

Muglia also discussed the release of the newest Windows Server product, the Windows Server 2003 Compute Cluster Edition, which he said had just gone to beta. "The focus in the High Performance Computing market has until now largely been on Linux, as Microsoft did not offer a complete solution," he said.

/zimages/2/28571.gifClick here to read about how open source code has found its way into Windows Compute Cluster Edition.

But Microsoft had heard from ISVs and customers that the current applications in this space were not integrated into their business environment and that there were support issues around this. "The goal is for Microsoft to build a complete solution and platform around this that integrates with the business environment," Muglia said.

Turning to Monad, an object-based command line, Muglia said Microsoft had been focusing on this and the most important thing was that it was built on the .Net Framework and integrated the command line, COM and .Net," he said, calling on developers to help it build these objects.

With regard to WinFX, Muglia turned to identity and Active Directory, putting up a slide which said that 75 percent of enterprise customers used AD as their primary authentication service, with NT 4 domains a very distant second at 8 percent, eDirectory at 5 percent, Novell Netware at 4 percent, and LDAP at 1 percent.

Identity was also now about compliance and all the regulations out there, and about security. Password-based authentication was not secure and so Microsoft was focused on building AD to meet those needs, he said. "The goal here is to take and expand out what AD can do and to provide these services to all developers," Muglia said.

Turning to Windows Longhorn Server, which is due in 2007, Muglia said this would bring a range of developer-focused technologies such as Terminal Services, networking, management and storage, including the transactional file system, which is an update to NTFS.

He also announced the developer release of Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS 7.0) and said PDC attendees would be given an updated community technology preview copy of Longhorn Server.

The modularity and componentization of Longhorn was something to which Microsoft had paid a lot of attention, Muglia said, before ending his keynote talking about 64-bit computing.

"While 64-bit computing is here today, Windows Server would move very aggressively in this regard, and 32-bit applications will run great on Windows Server 64-bit," he said.

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