Ship Windows Server Only When Its Ready

Microsoft's announcements about its operating-system roadmap, with a focus on three core initiatives, seem to show a willingness not to rush the process.

Microsoft made a series of announcements last week regarding the future of the Windows operating system. After hedging the dates on the release of the next-generation versions of Windows for the past few years, it laid out a roadmap and time frame for the product line that extends almost into the next decade.

/zimages/7/28571.gifRead more here about Microsofts new Windows Server timetable.

On the surface, this sounds like a good thing. One thing that drives the ISV and user communities absolutely crazy is the period of time between when Microsoft is "supposed" to be releasing a new operating system and when the OS actually ships.

This is especially true with the server operating system. Waiting for the next version has delayed many a corporate deployment schedule or forced an unexpected, unwanted upgrade process on the core servers in the network enterprise.

Micorsofts plans to focus its energies on three core initiatives will have significant impact on the way corporate networks make use of the Windows Server platform.

While the three initiatives—.NET, Dynamic Systems and Trustworthy Computing—are all important, its the latter two that will have the most impact on the use and deployment of Windows Servers.

Microsoft has talked a lot about its Trustworthy Computing initiative, and Ill leave that for the Security Center folks to analyze, except to say that a secure network operating system is a key component in any corporate enterprise.

/zimages/7/28571.gifFor insights on security coverage around the Web, check out Security Center Editor Larry Seltzers Weblog.

The Dynamic Systems Initiative, however, will have direct impact on the way Windows Server is used in your enterprise.

With the release of Windows Server 2003, Microsoft started a product positioning that had specific versions of Server 2003 for tasks such as file, print and Web services.

With DSI, the process goes much further—making possible a much more granular role for a server. The more granular server, such as a DNS server, would run only the code necessary to support that specific role, making for a much leaner, higher performance dedicated server.

The first of the roadmap products that Windows Server administrators should be keeping an eye out for is Service Pack 1 (SP1) for Windows Server 2003, which will include new security tools and many of the security technologies Microsoft is already showing in Windows XP Service Pack 2 release-candidate 1 (SP2 RC1). Microsoft is also expecting a 10 percent performance improvement over the base version of Server 2003.

Next Page: Keep an eye out for Windows 2003 Server for 64-Bit Extended Systems.