Microsoft Ships Beta 2 Versions of Windows NT Server, Workstation 4.0

REDMOND, Wash., May 13, 1996 — Microsoft Corp. today began shipping more than 200,000 copies of the beta 2 versions of the Microsoft® Windows NT®
Server version 4.0, including Microsoft Internet Information Server 2.0, and Windows NT Workstation version 4.0 operating systems to users and developers worldwide, the largest-scale beta release in the history of Windows NT.

By refining and extending the foundation of Windows NT Server version 3.51,
Windows NT Server 4.0 provides the only network operating system that is multipurpose, scales from the workgroup to the enterprise, and has intranet and Internet support built in.
Windows NT Workstation provides a powerful desktop operating system that combines the ease of use of the Windows®
95 operating system and the security and reliability of Windows NT.

“There has been overwhelming interest from customers and from the channel for the new ease of use and performance of Windows NT 4.0,”
said Jim Allchin, senior vice president of the desktop and business systems division at Microsoft.
“We have received very positive feedback from our beta 1 customers, and we are excited that many more customers will now be able to experience beta 2. We’re committed to working closely with our beta sites to deliver a rock-solid product.”

Enhancements in Windows NT Server 4.0

Windows NT Server 4.0 provides features to reduce the number of steps required for a system administrator to install, use and manage a server. It offers a set of Internet and intranet tools and improved performance as an applications, file, print and communications server. Enhancements include the following:

  • The Windows 95 user interface and new management wizards. These can improve server integration and reduce system administration tasks.

  • Improved Internet and intranet communications. Microsoft Internet Information Server 2.0, the fastest Web server for Windows NT Server, is built into Windows NT Server and offers up to 40 percent greater performance than its predecessor, version 1.0. Microsoft Internet Information Server 2.0 includes Web browser-based remote server administration. Also added is distributed Component Object Model (COM). COM allows software developers to create component-based applications. Distributed COM in Windows NT Server 4.0 extends COM to allow components to securely communicate across the Internet. Distributed COM is a growing Internet standard, and it has been published in conformance with the format specified in RFC 1543. A completely new version of DNS includes a graphical administration utility and integration with WINS services for dynamic updates of host names and addresses. To enable the creation of virtual private networks across the Internet, Windows NT Server 4.0 offers point-to-point tunneling protocol (PPTP), a technology that extends the capacity of RAS to enable secure, low-cost private networks without the need to change the client software.

  • Performance and scalability improvements. Windows NT Server 4.0 offers significant scalability improvements over Windows NT Server 3.51, achieving considerably higher performance on four-processor machines and offering much more linear scalability on machines with eight or more processors. File server performance in Windows NT Server 4.0 also shows dramatic gains, achieving more than twice the throughput of Windows NT Server 3.51.

Enhancements in Windows NT Workstation 4.0

Enhancements in Windows NT Workstation 4.0 include the following:

  • The Windows 95 user interface. It includes the Start button, taskbar, Microsoft Internet Explorer and Network Neighborhood.

  • Built-in access to the Internet and intranets. Microsoft Internet Explorer 2.0 is the next generation of the easy-to-use Internet browser designed for Windows NT Workstation 4.0. Peer Web Services is for low-volume personal Web publishing in corporate intranets.

  • Built-in management tools for increased control over the desktop. Tools include User Profiles, which allows users to roam between PCs or have multiple users on one PC, and System Policies, which allows system administrators to control the desktop tightly with several levels of restriction to network and desktop resources and user applications.

  • Enhanced multimedia support. This includes support for the DirectDraw
    and DirectSound
    APIs, AutoPlay CDs and CD-XA formats.

Beta 2 kits are being shipped to customers now. Developers interested in developing
32-bit applications for the Windows family can receive beta 2 through the subscription-based Microsoft Developer Network.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Microsoft, Windows NT, Windows, DirectDraw and DirectSound are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

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