Labeling 2005 a "breakout year" for its server operating-system line, Microsoft on Monday laid out a revised road map for Windows Server 2003 that promised the release of the second edition in the last half and a service pack in the first.
Along with the usual bug fixes and security patches, Service Pack 1 (SP1) of Windows Server 2003 will include Security Configuration Wizard, which lets administrators define policies and set security options for a server, then deploy those same policies and settings to all other servers in the enterprise that do the same type of job, such as all mail servers.
While the first release candidate for SP1 will ship before the end of this year, said Bob Kelly, a general manager in the Windows server group, the final version won't roll out until sometime in the first half of 2005.
Also promised for that time frame is the 64-bit version, dubbed x64, of Windows Server 2003.
The second half of next year should see the release of Windows Server 2003 R2. That second release of the OS will focus, said Kelly, on improvements in branch-server management and storage management.
Also on track, said Kelly, for the second half of 2005 are Windows Server 2003 HPC (High Performance Computing) Edition, Windows Storage Server 2003 R2, and a beta of the next generation of Windows Server, currently dubbed "Longhorn Server."