Windows .NET Server Achieves Major Milestone; RC1 Delivered

REDMOND, Wash., July 24, 2002 — Microsoft Corp. today announced at the company’s .NET Briefing Day that its upcoming Windows® .NET Server operating system has reached the RC1 milestone. Release candidate 1 (RC1) is an important step leading up to the product’s final delivery, signifying that engineering, development and beta testing have been completed and that the server code is entering the final phases of testing and completion work prior to its release to manufacturing. Microsoft®
Windows .NET Server RC1 code will be available for third-party testers to download beginning tomorrow and will be available for customers to begin previewing next week.

“This product is rock-solid,” said Jim Allchin, group vice president of the Platforms Group at Microsoft. “We’re delivering the features and improvements that our IT and developer audiences have told us they want most: improved security, greater reliability and better performance. Windows .NET Server is far easier to deploy, manage and operate, and it includes a comprehensive set of Web application services that make it easy to build powerful, connected solutions quickly. This is the most customer-driven release of Windows Server ever.”

Windows .NET Server comprises core server infrastructure technologies that build on the reliability, availability and scalability strengths of Windows 2000 Server and that deliver a superior, cost-effective server operating system. Microsoft .NET is deeply integrated into the Windows .NET Server family, which includes native support for the .NET Framework for developing and deploying connected applications, networks and Web services. The new server operating system provides an impressive level of software integration and will be a highly dependable, cost-effective and productive platform available for business requirements from the workgroup to the datacenter.

Windows .NET Server addresses the requirements of three distinct user audiences:

  • IT professionals who are focused on building out, securing and keeping available, and scaling an integrated IT infrastructure

  • Developers in search of a highly productive application platform that will enable them to write the next generation of connected applications — with built-in security features — using less code and efficiently reusing existing code

  • Information workers who are continually being asked to do more and do it faster in today’s economic climate

For each, Windows .NET Server includes a multitude of improvements and new features that increase dependability, improve productivity and make it an excellent platform for building and deploying connected business solutions.

“Windows .NET Server represents a second-generation product based on the Windows 2000 code base, and customers can expect for Microsoft to deliver across-the-board improvements to the product,” said Al Gillen, research director, system software at IDC. “The release candidate brings Microsoft’s customers a significant step closer to being able to deploy Windows .NET Server, so they can take advantage of both the operational benefits integral to the product and the ability to more easily develop, host and consume Web services.”

With RC1, developers have a solid, complete version of Windows .NET Server from which to continue application development for the platform. Similarly, RC1 is an early opportunity for customers to begin evaluating Windows .NET Server to determine how they can take advantage of the advanced features, stability and security to help them improve their IT infrastructure. Beginning today, customers can subscribe to receive fully functioning preview code of Windows .NET Server at . RC1 preview code for customers will be available for download from the Web next week, and preview CD kits will begin to be sent next month.

Windows .NET Server Increases Performance and Productivity

Performance scalability has been improved in Windows .NET Server through features such as expanded support for 64-bit processing, broader inclusion of eight-way clustering, and support for non-uniform memory access (NUMA). These features extend the capabilities of the Windows Server family to support mission-critical and high-end applications.

Windows .NET Server contains new and enhanced technologies to improve business productivity and the user experience. Developers will find it easier to create XML-based applications and Web services through the native inclusion of the .NET Framework and through improvements in Internet Information Services 6.0. By providing more reusable objects, built-in services and better process management and integration, Windows .NET Server effectively raises the bar for integration and ease of management for server operating systems. As a core piece of Web services infrastructure included in Windows .NET Server, Enterprise UDDI Services makes it easy to discover, share and reuse Web services and other programmable resources, offering to vastly improve developer and IT productivity while creating more reliable, manageable applications.

“The Web services, customized templates and new programming technologies available with the Windows .NET Platform allow us to write applications much more efficiently, and they take a lot less time to develop,” said Jeff Cohen, vice president and chief information officer at JetBlue Airways. “We know that will save us time and money, and that’s why many of our new technologies have been developed for the Windows .NET Server platform. We plan to take advantage of the whole, integrated platform and not just take pieces of it.”

Extended capabilities within the Windows .NET Server Active Directory®
service assist network administrators through simplified management and increased performance and efficiency. Windows .NET Server and Active Directory provide developers tremendous flexibility including multiple modes that can simplify the deployment of many directory-enabled applications.

“The overall impact of Windows .NET Server should be to substantially improve productivity within our enterprise,” said Jim Bricker, systems engineer at Avanade Inc. “Windows .NET Server is truly a best-of-breed platform for our business.”

Customer-Driven Quality Already Delivering Results

RC1 status for Windows .NET Server has been achieved only after a very rigorous build and test process that has spanned two and a half years and reflects the input of thousands of third-party partners and business customers.

“When Microsoft asked us to provide input to the design of Windows .NET Server, we got the chance to make sure the features we wanted got in there,” said Kevin Russo, director of engineering at SmartPipes Inc. “Now, a lot of the directory and security features that we needed are incorporated within Windows .NET Server, and these features help keep our products in the class they need to be to meet our customers’ needs.”

Microsoft already is taking advantage of the new technology in its highest-profile operations. The company’s Web site is built on ASP.NET utilizing XML content. All the Web servers will use Windows .NET Server within the next few weeks. Currently, Windows .NET Server is installed on 50 percent of the machines.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

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