Microsoft Corp’s second bite Windows Sever 2003, due next year, will wrap-in secure, flexible network access for mobile devices and improved remote management.
The company is preparing Windows Server 2003 Release 2 for 2005, which will include technology advancements since the operating system’s launch, in April last year the company said yesterday.
Windows Server Release 2 is billed by Microsoft as an interim software release, in keeping with its operating system roadmap strategy unveiled earlier this year. In May Windows server senior vice president Bob Muglia committed Microsoft to releasing a major operating system every four years with updates every two years.
The second release of Windows Server 2003 is expected to be followed some time in 2007 by the server version of Microsoft’s Longhorn client.
Speaking to financial analysts, vice president for server and tools Eric Rudder outlined a system designed to help secure corporate networks against introduction of viruses from laptops logging on remotely or locally through wireless.
Windows Server Release 2 will certify the health of a laptop, verifying the device complies with corporate security policy by running the appropriate service packs or virus signatures. Machines that fail this test will be quarantined and updated via Microsoft’s SMA or IBM Corp’s Tivoli, and then allowed back onto the network.
Rudder said network access protection would allow an IT administrator to be sure they have set policy once. We are very excited about network access protection, he said.
Mobile users will also be able to access corporate resources securely via HTTP, from any internet terminal, following up work Microsoft has undertaken with the Outlook Access connection, for light-weight connection to e-mail systems.
Other planned changes around security tackle federated identity and use of Microsoft’s Digital Rights Management (DRM) mechanism, currently shipped separately to Windows Server 2003. Microsoft also plans simplified deployment and management of edge servers, to assist retailers and banks managing distributed organizations.
The ability to connect to online communities, such as news groups, is planned for Windows Server 2003 Release 2, via the Microsoft Management Console.
Also in 2005, Microsoft will ship Windows Server 2003 for 64-bit Extended Systems and Windows Server 2003 Service Pack (SP) 1, featuring security enhancements in Windows XP for use in the server. Microsoft this week announced these products, expected in 2004, are actually being delayed for additional testing with the Windows XP SP 2, which is now expected in August.