2003 Preview: Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Leads Diverse Field of Product Releases Featuring Enhanced Security, Performance, Interoperability

Editors’ Update: As of Jan. 9, 2003, Microsoft changed the name of the forthcoming product previously known as
“Windows .NET Server 2003”
“Windows Server 2003.”
To avoid confusion among reporters who continue to consult this preview feature, the article has been updated throughout to reflect the software’s new branding.

REDMOND, Wash., Dec. 16, 2002 — Significant advances in Microsofts key enterprise technologies, including the release of its Windows Server 2003 family of business software products, are among the many signs that the coming year will be busy for Microsoft — and rewarding for customers.

Windows Server 2003, together with a host of new or enhanced technologies that work hand-in-hand with this foundational product, was developed to allow enterprise customers to better interoperate with — and realize increased returns from — their current and future software investments. In addition, Microsoft expects many enterprises will be able to achieve new levels of operational efficiency and dependability, driving down their infrastructure costs, as a result of the enhanced security, performance and scalability of Windows Server 2003 and other releases.

Along with Windows Server 2003, other notable releases and technology advances scheduled for 2003 include:

  • Visual Studio .NET 2003

  • “Office 11”
    , the next generation of Microsoft Office

  • Exchange Server

  • “Jupiter”

  • SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition (64-bit)

  • Web services

  • SharePoint Team Services

  • “XDocs”

  • MSN Messenger Connect for Enterprises

  • “Greenwich”

  • .NET Speech technologies

  • MS Automotive

Windows Server 2003

In April, Microsoft will launch Windows Server 2003 — the most reliable, security-enhanced and fastest Windows Server ever. Windows Server 2003 is the foundation on which Microsoft solutions connect information, people, systems and devices.

The new server family builds on the core of Windows 2000 Server, and will provide a highly productive platform for powering connected applications, networks and Web services.

Windows Server 2003 marks a key milestone for Microsoft .NET. Because the .NET Framework is fully integrated into the Windows platform infrastructure, Windows Server 2003 provides a consistent development platform for creating applications that turn business processes into XML-based Web services and add up to complete business solutions across the work environment — from mobile devices to datacenter servers.

Because Windows Server 2003 reaches new levels of performance and scalability, it offers customers currently using Windows NT Server 4.0 a powerful reason to upgrade their computing systems. Some of the key improvements making Windows Server 2003 attractive to enterprises: Active Directory Services, which simplifies the administration of complex network directories and makes it easy for users to locate resources on even the largest networks; Group Policy Management Console, which enables administrators to more easily manage the settings and allowed actions for users and computers; Volume Shadow Copy Services, which enables administrators to configure point-in-time copies of critical data volumes without service interruption; and IIS 6.0, which has been redesigned to incorporate an advanced process model that greatly improves reliability and performance, with support for the latest Web standards, including XML, SOAP, and IPv6.

The Windows Server 2003 family offers four editions:

  • Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition : For business-critical and mission-critical applications that demand high levels of scalability and availability. Datacenter Edition will be available in 32-bit and 64-bit editions and will support 64-way multiprocessing systems.

  • Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition : For large enterprises as well as small and medium-size businesses to develop, deliver, and secure applications, Web services, and infrastructure — high reliability, performance, and superior business value. Enterprise Edition will be available in 32-bit and 64-bit editions.

  • Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition : A multipurpose network operating system for the everyday needs of organizations of all sizes — especially small businesses and workgroups. It offers secure Internet connectivity, allowing centralized desktop application deployment and supporting file and printer sharing.

  • Windows Server 2003 Web Edition : A new product within the Windows operating systems that will provide both Web serving and hosting. Designed to be used primarily as an Internet Information Server 6.0 Web server, it provides a platform for rapidly developing and deploying XML Web services and applications.

Visual Studio .NET 2003

Together with Windows Server 2003, Microsoft will launch the latest version of its award-winning development environment. Visual Studio .NET 2003 is designed to deliver enhanced reliability, stability, security and performance, as well as advances for enterprise, professional and mobile developers. The joint release of Windows Server 2003 and Visual Studio .NET 2003 represents a powerful application server platform that enables customers to build and deploy dependable, connected solutions.

Among the key advances developers will find in Visual Studio .NET 2003:

  • Enterprise developers benefit from full integration of the .NET Framework with Windows Server 2003 and support for Web Services Enhancements 1.0 (WSE) for Microsoft .NET, which provides support for the latest Web services specifications including WS-Security, WS-Routing, WS-Attachments and DIME.

  • Professional developers find enhanced standards conformance in Visual C++ .NET and an improved upgrade experience in Visual Basic .NET.

  • Mobile developers receive full support for the .NET Compact Framework and more than 200 Web-enabled devices via ASP.NET mobile controls.


Office 11

Too often, business-critical information ends up locked inside data-storage systems or individual documents, forcing companies to adopt inefficient and duplicative business processes. Critical data might be located in a database that employees don t know how to access, in a text document a co-worker has stored on her hard drive, or even somewhere on the Internet.

In the next release of Microsoft Office, codenamed
“Office 11,”
Microsoft’s vision is to seamlessly connect workers to the different islands of data stored by businesses, regardless of the system or device they use. To do this, Office 11 will broadly support standards-based XML, which enables the exchange of any form of data across heterogeneous systems, platforms, and applications.

Building XML support into the heart of Office applications will add two significant pieces of functionality to Office. First, customers will have the option of saving any Microsoft Word document, Excel spreadsheet, Visio diagram, or data from an Access database in XML, which will allow those documents to be shared across the organization and via XML Web services. Second, and more importantly, companies will be able to customize the structure of the data created in Office applications by applying specific data models, or
Being able to use customer-defined schemas opens up a new realm of possibilities for businesses, because they will be able to capture and reuse critical company-specific information that in the past has been lost or unused.

Microsoft Exchange Server


Today’s enterprises struggle with two main challenges for their communications infrastructure: lowering the total cost of ownership (TCO) and providing mobile workers with broader access to their messaging and personal information. Microsoft built the next version of Microsoft Exchange Server, codenamed
to meet both of these needs with a messaging platform that is designed to be more secure, easier to deploy, more reliable and more scalable, while providing better support for mobile devices.

Scheduled for release in mid-2003,
integrates tightly with Windows Server 2003 and Microsoft’s upcoming Outlook 11 client to enable businesses to further consolidate their e-mail traffic on fewer servers through new backup technology and improvements to reduce and compress traffic between Outlook and Exchange.

supports iMode, cHTML and WAP 2.0 micro-browsers to enable mobile device access. For workers using remote connections, Titanium works with Outlook 11 to automatically detect the connection speed and dynamically adjust how it downloads new messages — such as displaying message headers first so users can quickly select the messages they want — to optimize performance over low or fluctuating bandwidth conditions.

Security enhancements in
include cookie authentication and connection time-out processes for Outlook Web Access, stronger anti-spam capabilities and default security settings for all system variables. To improve system availability and manageability,
will support up to eight-node clustering when running on either the Enterprise Edition or Datacenter Edition of Windows Server 2003. Also,
will include the Exchange Management Pack for Microsoft Operations Manager to enable better delivery against service-level agreements while lowering costs.


E-business tools — such as application servers, e-commerce solutions, information portals and business process automation products — are becoming essential to the success of enterprises. But these tools are also rapidly changing to keep up with shifts in e-business. To more easily adapt to these changes and simplify their IT infrastructure, companies are looking for more unified e-business software rather than stand-alone e-business applications.

To help companies derive more benefit from their existing technology investment and take full advantage of future e-business solutions, Microsoft will release the first phase of
in the second half of 2003.
is a set of technologies that will integrate Microsoft BizTalk Server, Microsoft Commerce Server and Microsoft Content Management Server to form an IT ecosystem of information, people and business processes that is designed to transform how companies do business.

addresses the challenges of building the truly integrated enterprise by bringing the core e-business technologies into a more unified environment. This environment consists of four core themes.

  • Business process management .
    helps create and support unified business processes that span an enterprise and extend to partners and customers.

  • Interoperability. “Jupiter’s”
    support for XML Web Services means that customers can connect their business systems regardless of platform or language.

  • Integration: The tools and technologies in
    will be fully integrated to provide a common and seamless development, deployment, management and end-user experience.

  • Componentized. “Jupiter”
    is designed for maximum flexibility, providing businesses with the key components to built customized e-business solutions.

SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition

In 2003, Microsoft will celebrate the 10th anniversary of SQL Server on Windows. Over the past decade, Microsoft has consistently provided customers with a database platform that is scalable, efficient, manageable, and increases productivity without driving up costs. Continuing this vision, Microsoft plans to raise the bar for cost-effective performance and scalability by releasing SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition (64-bit) in conjunction with the launch of Windows Server 2003 in April. This version is designed to take advantage of the hardware enhancements of the 64-bit platform, offering higher levels of single-system scalability for the most memory-intensive data applications, such as large-scale e-commerce, data warehousing and analytic applications.

The next version of SQL Server, codenamed
, is being designed to provide a richer user experience through major feature enhancements in developer productivity, scalability and dependability, manageability and business intelligence.

XML Web Services

Microsoft plans to make further advances with XML Web services in 2003 that will enable greater efficiencies and productivity for enterprises while enhancing the company’s current and future software. Web services act as the conveyors for a distributed-computing model that uses standard XML-based protocols to programmatically interact with other applications across computer networks. They also are integral to Microsoft’s .NET-connected software and its ability to enable new and existing applications to operate with software and services across platforms, applications and programming languages.

After making significant progress in 2002 on the foundation for an XML Web services architecture, Microsoft plans to continue developing critical technology protocols that support platform and language-neutral standards. These will allow businesses to use XML-based Web services to connect systems both inside and outside of their enterprises.

Along with key industry partners, Microsoft will strive to enhance the reliability and security of Web services, while also ensuring different services continue to operate together. For instance, Microsoft plans to expand the security capabilities of XML Web services by building on the WS-Security specification. The company also plans to complete work on the roadmap co-authored by Microsoft and IBM,
“Security in a Web Services World,”
to create a standards-based foundation that will enhance security when exchanging information across computer networks using XML Web services.

SharePoint Team Services

Underscoring its commitment to help businesses seamlessly connect workers, Microsoft will also release the next version of SharePoint Team Services, part of Microsoft’s SharePoint products and technologies, in mid-2003.

SharePoint Team Services is a customizable, out-of-the-box, Web-site solution for workgroup collaboration and information sharing. Tightly integrated with Microsoft FrontPage, Microsoft Project and versions of Microsoft Office that include FrontPage, SharePoint Team Services is designed to provide teams and workgroups a means to easily work together, share documents, and communicate with one another, thus improving productivity.

The next version of SharePoint Team Services will be more tightly integrated with
“Office 11.”
For example, SharePoint Team Services will be connected to the new Document Workspace, a workspace shown in the Task Pane of
“Office 11”
documents that lets workers edit a document simultaneously and receive real-time notices of changes. By connecting it to a SharePoint Team Services Web site, workers will have access to shared task lists, calendars, discussion strings, and a new feature called Meetings Workspaces, enabling them to spend less time dealing with the complexities of collaboration technologies and more time working together.

In addition, SharePoint Portal Server and SharePoint Team Services will be tightly integrated, providing a unified environment that connects users to information, enterprise applications and collaborative tools throughout the enterprise.


To further help organizations capture and reuse valuable company data, Microsoft has plans to release a new Office family application currently codenamed
Scheduled for release in mid-2003,
is designed to streamline the process of gathering information by enabling teams and organizations to easily create and work with dynamic forms.

To end-users,
looks and feels like a traditional word-processing program, but it also serves as the user interface to business processes that rely on the collection or retrieval of business information. Built from the ground up to understand XML,
gives people a tool with Microsoft Office-level quality that makes it easy to create, access and share XML data between existing databases and servers, across the enterprise or via XML Web services. As a result,
connects information workers directly to organizational information and gives them the ability to act on it, which leads to greater business impact.

For forms designers,
provides an integrated WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) design environment. Starting with any custom-defined schema (XSD), designers can quickly build a template based upon that schema, using a built-in set of controls for easily laying out forms.
also enables forms designers to create a custom-defined schema as part of the forms design process, and there is a set of 25 ready-to-use sample forms — with schemas — that can be customized.

MSN Messenger Connect for Enterprises and Greenwich

The rapid growth of instant messaging (IM) has provided enterprises a new way to communicate instantly and inexpensively with customers and clients. But many industries have had to limit or restrict its use because they don’t have ways to monitor and control IM conversations beyond their corporate firewall.

MSN Messenger Connect for Enterprises will provide enterprises the management tools and other controls necessary to conduct sales, provide customer service and perform other types of transactions in real time with the more than 75 million unique users of MSN Messenger.

Scheduled for release during the first quarter of 2003, MSN Messenger Connect allows businesses to log and audit all IM conversations — a requirement in the financial industry — on a SQL Server 2000 database. The service also allows enterprises to manage use of their IM domain — or namespace — so customers can be assured they are doing business with an authorized representative of a company.

The service will integrate with other Microsoft technologies, including the Windows Server operating system and Active Directory API, and with existing Exchange 2000 instant messaging services. It also will provide enterprises an initial view of the type of services that will be offered with the real-time communications platform that Microsoft plans to release in mid-2003. Codenamed
the platform will integrate several forms of instant communication, including voice, data collaboration and presence information.

.NET Speech Technologies

Building on significant progress made in 2002 toward providing customers the foundation for building unified Web-based speech solutions, Microsoft will continue to offer additional software infrastructure for the deployment of speech applications in 2003.

A beta release of the .NET Speech platform is planned for mid-year along with the release to manufacturing (RTM) of the .NET Speech Software Development Kit (SDK). The SDK integrates with the Visual Studio .NET development environment, and features enhanced tools and speech controls. Microsoft will also offer Pocket Internet Explorer browser extensions that will enable deployment of speech applications over a full range of mobile devices.

Microsoft set the stage for these new releases with a number of milestone achievements in 2002. In addition to releasing two beta versions of the .NET Speech SDK, Microsoft announced a technical preview of the Microsoft .NET Speech platform and a Joint Development Program (JDP) for enterprise customers and partners committed to deploying speech applications.

A strong partner ecosystem is also integral to Microsoft’s goal of making speech mainstream, and announced alliances with SpeechWorks, Intervoice Inc. and Intel Corp. will offer customers solutions and leading hardware and software components on the Microsoft .NET Speech platform. Microsoft also continues to work with the Speech Application Language Tags (SALT) Forum on development of the SALT specification, the basis of Microsoft’s product offerings, which was submitted to the Worldwide Web Consortium (W3C) under royalty-free terms in August.

Windows Automotive

In today’s global market, the work day never ends and enterprises need their employees to have access to the company’s information systems at all times — including while they are in the car. Microsoft’s newly upgraded telematics software platform — Windows Automotive — provides the technical tools that will enable enterprises to provide their workers easy access to servers, networks and a wide range of Web services while in their cars.

With 13 car models worldwide already using Microsoft technology, Microsoft expects Windows Automotive will take in-car computing to a new level. Built on the Windows CE operating system, Windows Automotive will be available to automakers, suppliers and developers in the first half of 2003. It is Microsoft’s first automotive-specific platform to include the .NET Compact Framework.

Microsoft’s .NET technology will enable seamless access to a wide range of Web services such as e-mail and travel scheduling, as well as smooth functionality among all Windows Powered devices.

Additionally, the platform will have native support for voice-enabled Bluetooth technology, a short-range wireless technology that will allow drivers and passengers to communicate with their embedded in-dash system as well as their mobile devices — all hands free.

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