Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Golden Standard?

Ah, that devilish Microsoft. It may not be at war with Sun Microsystems any more; they may even be partners of a sort on several initiatives these days. But it's still first things first, and Microsoft managed to steal a little of Sun's shine from its Tuesday announcements when it revealed that Windows Server 2003 R2 has been finalized and shipped to manufacturing.
The company took pains to note that R2 is not a massively major release and that it's based solidly on the code from the Windows Server 2003 SP1 update earlier this year. That is undoubtedly an attempt to speed implementation of the upgrade among server admins who've been used to Microsoft bugs in the past. To get the audience Microsoft wants to add with this release (small businesses and branch offices; people interested in virtualization who haven't been captured by Linux yet; Unix crossovers), it has to convince them that it'll work smoothly out of the box, whether for an upgrade or a new install. That's a nice emphasis to see.

That said, R2 is a fairly significant upgrade, with plenty of new and worthwhile features that should include improved virtualization, identity and access management, and Unix interoperability. We'll know soon if it fulfills the promises that Server Pipeline columnist Jeffrey Shapiro recommended waiting for when he assessed SP1's shortcomings; Jeffrey is thrashing the R2 release in the lab right now, and we'll be bringing you his full report shortly.