With Vista, Office 2007, and their associated application ecosystem now generally available, Microsoft is turning its attentions to the server once again with the launch of Windows Server ‘Longhorn’ Beta 3.
The next version of Microsoft Windows Server operating system is still scheduled to release to manufacturing later this year, the company maintained, and will be followed by new versions of Visual Studio and SQL Server.
Having taken on the codename previously used for Vista, Windows Server Longhorn includes a number of management and security advancements over Windows 2003 including improved event logging, task scheduling, remote management and scripting capabilities, support for Network Access Protection, and read-only domain controllers.
It will also see the delivery of the company’s Veridian server virtualization hypervisor functionality, although that will be delivered within 180 days of Longhorn’s release. The public beta of the Veridian functionality has been delayed to the second half of 2007.
In the meantime, the beta 3 version of Longhorn is available now and should have enough features to keep beta testers busy until the second half. While Longhorn is scheduled to be released to manufacturing this year, bundled systems are not expected from server vendors until early next year.
Longhorn will be followed by new versions of Visual Studio, codenamed Orcas, and SQL Server, codenamed Katmai. The first beta release of Orcas was released earlier this month and features tighter links with Office 2007 and Vista.
Less is known about SQL Server Katmai, although testing is rumored to be scheduled to begin in June.