Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Released to Manufacturing

REDMOND, Wash., March 28, 2003 — Microsoft Corp. today announced it has released Windows®
Server 2003 to manufacturing. The company’s best-performing, highest-quality Windows server operating system released to date, Windows Server 2003 delivers an integrated server platform that enables customers to run their IT infrastructure up to 30 percent more efficiently. By completing a rigorous new testing program including a thorough line-by-line code audit, Windows Server 2003 incorporates innovative new security and reliability features that ensure the product is more secure by design. The new server platform is already receiving widespread partner support and customer interest worldwide: Microsoft has been preparing over 70,000 industry partners to market, deploy and service Windows Server 2003 when it launches April 24. More than 550,000 customers signed up for preview program betas, the highest number for any server in the history of the company.

“Our mandate was clear: build a customer-driven release that delivers a breakthrough in quality, No. 1 in performance and unprecedented value for business of all sizes,” said Bill Veghte, corporate vice president of the Windows Server Division at Microsoft. “Our early-adopter customers are confirming that Windows Server 2003 is delivering by driving down overall IT costs and providing the highest level of performance and reliability. The quality of this product is a testament to our customers’ and partners’ invaluable contributions in the development of Windows Server 2003.”

Thirty Percent More Efficient IT Infrastructure

With significant improvements to core server fundamentals, including scalability, reliability, security and manageability, as well as technological innovations, Windows Server 2003 creates opportunities for customers of all sizes to drive down costs and increase productivity. Early results from customers deploying the product include these:

  • Consolidation. 20 to 30 percent reduction in servers

  • Performance. Twice as fast across all workloads

  • Management. 20 percent reduction in overall costs

  • Productivity. 35 percent of customers redeployed IT staff to higher-value projects

  • Deployment. 50 percent reduction in cost over Windows NT®
    Server 4.0

Windows NT Server 4.0 customers migrating to Windows Server 2003 will see the biggest benefits, with systems that are 100 times more scalable at one-tenth the cost per transaction as compared to when Windows NT Server 4.0 was introduced. Further, they will see a 40 percent increase in stability due in part to a more robust driver model and system recovery capabilities designed for maximum uptime.

“We’re building a more automated, robust system that is more secure, stable and manageable,” said Ron Brahm, Global Infrastructure program manager at GE Medical Systems. “By upgrading to Windows Server 2003, we can administer our environment from a central location and be able to turn on a dime.”

Fastest-Performing Servers Across All Workloads

Windows Server 2003 unquestionably delivers the speed and scalability that customers need across all key server roles, including database server, application server, Web server, file and print server, directory services, and terminal services. Recent industry-leading benchmarks, including Transaction Processing Performance Council (TPC) TPC-C, TPC-H and TPC-W, rank Windows Server 2003 and SQL Server (TM) 2000 as rapidly becoming No. 1 in performance.

The performance and scalability story is further enhanced by the addition of Microsoft®
SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition (64-bit), also released today. SQL Server 2000 (64-bit) is designed to support memory-intensive and high-performance applications running on 64-bit versions of Windows Server 2003. Customers will particularly benefit from performance on Intel’s largest Itanium 2-based, 64-way multiprocessing systems.

Customers of all sizes benefit from increased efficiencies that improve their bottom line in a number of ways, including reducing hardware expenditures and administrative costs while consistently delivering leading price/performance. By delivering both the best value and exceptional performance, Windows Server 2003 and SQL Server 2000 (64-bit) will fundamentally change the landscape of high-end enterprise computing.

Highest-Quality Windows Server Ever Released

Following up on its commitment to Trustworthy Computing, Microsoft spent nearly $200 million training 13,000 Windows developers on new security-focused development techniques, implementing new engineering processes, and completing a line-by-line security review of Windows Server 2003 — delivering a product that is more secure by design, by default and by deployment.

“I’ve been involved in the development of every release of Windows Server, and this is by far the most secure, most reliable, highest-performing server operating system we’ve ever built,” said Dave Thompson, corporate vice president of the Windows Server Product Group at Microsoft. “We’ve been proving the reliability and performance of Windows Server 2003 with the widest early adoption we’ve ever had. This has been a long but very productive road, and I am enormously proud of the thousands of men and women who built this product.”

Throughout development, Microsoft utilized a broad community of external testers and early-adopter companies, whose active participation is the foundation for making Windows Server 2003 the highest-quality product in the company’s history. Communities such as the Joint Development Program, the Customer Preview Program and the Rapid Adoption Program have been the cornerstone of ongoing dialogue between developers and customers. Microsoft introduced the Enterprise Engineering Center (EEC), an innovative new program that delivers real-world experiences replicating heterogeneous customer environments — right down to the hardware.

“We use the EEC in the Siemens deployment of Windows Server 2003 to validate our SWAT Architecture Design Principles, test network and hardware configurations, test software applications, experience new Windows features, and submit bug and design change requests,” said John Minnick, manager of technology development at Siemens Energy & Automation. “As a result of the lab experiences, we are able to bring significant value back to our own Siemens groups, regions and operating companies, not only in the area of Windows but for other IT initiatives moving forward.”

Underscoring the high-quality engineering, Windows Media®
9 Series in Windows Server 2003 is powering major content Web sites and subscription services that have delivered more than 300 terabytes’ worth of news, sports, music and film content using prerelease versions of the server platform (see related release).

Handing off the Windows Server 2003 gold code marks the completion of more than three years of work by 5,000 developers, incorporating more than 650 technology innovations and enhancements.

About the Windows Server 2003 Launch

Microsoft will formally introduce Windows Server 2003, Visual Studio®
.NET 2003 and SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition (64-bit) in a worldwide launch event on April 24 at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco. Visual Studio .NET 2003 together with Windows Server 2003 provide a dependable application platform for quickly creating reliable, scalable and connected solutions. The Windows Server family includes the following:

  • Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition

  • Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition for 64-bit Itanium 2 Systems

  • Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition

  • Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition for 64-bit Itanium 2 Systems

  • Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition

  • Windows Server 2003 Web Edition

  • Windows Small Business Server 2003 (available in the third quarter of 2003)

About Windows Server 2003

Windows Server 2003 is a comprehensive, integrated and secure infrastructure designed to help customers reduce costs and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of IT operations. Building on Windows 2000 family strengths, the new server platform helps customers extend existing resources while laying the foundation for building a new generation of connected applications that improve business productivity.

More information is available at

About Microsoft

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.

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

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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