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Windows Server 2003 R2 Will Ship In 4Q, Microsoft Says

Microsoft on Tuesday insisted that the next version of Windows Server 2003, code-named R2, will ship in the fourth quarter, despite speculation about a possible delay.

At the Tech Ed 2005 conference in Orlando, Fla., Bob Muglia, senior vice president of the Windows Server Division, said Microsoft will meet its originally targeted release date in the second half of 2005. On Monday, buzz about a potential delay circulated around the show floor after Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said R2 would ship "within 12 months."

Many Tech Ed attendees were disappointed that Microsoft didn't introduce Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server 2005 in the middle of the year as planned, but they expressed relief that the Redmond, Wash., software giant announced plans to launch the next versions on Nov. 7. Later, a Microsoft spokeswoman said the release to manufacturing of those products would be announced at the event.

Meanwhile, work continues on Windows Server R2, which is slated to feature better support for branch offices, improved utilization of network bandwidth and Active Directory federation services, Muglia said. After the release of R2, Microsoft expects to ship the Longhorn version of Windows Server in 2007. And in a follow-up for the Longhorn Server release, Microsoft plans to integrate a hypervisor virtualization technology, he added.