While Vista Beta 1 is stealing most of the headlines this week, Microsoft also is delivering simultaneously on Wednesday to a select group of private testers the first beta of its Longhorn Server product.
Microsoft has not yet decided on a final name for the next version of its Windows Server operating system (other than the fact that it wont be Vista), according to company officials.
But what the company has decided upon is the set of core Longhorn foundation technologies and application programming interfaces for Longhorn Server components. Those elements will comprise the first Longhorn Server beta release.
By the time Longhorn Server ships, which is still expected to happen in 2007, the product will provide the following features and functionality, according to company officials:
- Streamlined and task-oriented management
- Centralized and filtered event logging
- Image-based setup and deployment
- Manageable and scalable Web application platform
- Increased infrastructure robustness
- Network Access Protection
- Reduced reboots
- Smaller server footprint
- Transactional file system and registry
- Enhanced Terminal Server management and usability
- More sophisticated collaboration
- Cross-organizational rights management
Longhorn Server is set to be tested by about 5,000 OEMs, independent hardware vendors, system builders, independent software vendors and partners. The company also will make the Longhorn Server Beta 1 build available to its Technology Advancement program (TAP) customers, as well as to Microsofts own internal IT organization.
Beta 2, for which Microsoft has yet to announce a delivery target, is slated to be a public, as opposed to a closed, private beta. At that point, “Microsoft will encourage customers to begin evaluating and providing feedback on the product,” a company spokesperson said.