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Windows Server 2003 R2 Draws Applause From Partners

The Windows Server 2003 R2 product line delivers business value out of the box and will likely drive services revenues next year, partners say.

As part of the official launch last week, Microsoft announced the release to manufacturing of Windows Server 2003 R2 and Windows Storage Server
2003 R2.

Those enhanced offerings, along with Virtual Server 2005 R2, will be available in the first quarter of 2006. Windows Server 2003 R2 will be available to licensed customers beginning in February.

Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2, which will incorporate the upgraded Windows Server 2003 SP1 code and SQL Server 2005 Workgroup, will be completed as expected sometime in the second or third calendar quarter.

It is the first significant upgrade of the server code since Windows Server 2003 was released in April 2003. The Redmond, Wash.-based software giant released a security-enhanced service pack dubbed SP1 in March, but the R2 release offers many new features including better support for branch offices and Unix/Linux, as well as new directory federation features that will allow customers to set up trusted relationships with external partners.

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