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RC2 of Windows .NET Server 2003 Coming This Week

Microsoft Corp. will post Release Candidate 2 of Windows .NET Server 2003 this week, a spokeswoman said Tuesday.

RC2 will probably be the last widely distributed test version of the server operating system before it is released to manufacturing sometime in the first quarter of 2003. General availability of Windows .NET Server 2003 is scheduled for April.

Bob O'Brien, group product manager for Windows NET Server, says the length of the RC2 cycle will depend on customer feedback, but company officials have faith that the product is nearly ready to go. "Going into the holidays, there's always the chance that testing will slow down," O'Brien says. "[But] I believe that the cycle between this and getting to an RTM is going to be fairly short. In order to meet our goal of having product in channel in April, we've got to hit the [RTM] mark in Q1 without any blips."

Microsoft's Web site for RC2 began taking requests for download registrations on Monday. That site can be found here:
www.microsoft.com/windows.netserver/preview/obtaining.mspx.

O'Brien says the RC2 download site is built on top of 64-bit Windows .NET Server 2003 to ensure that the site scales to meet demand. O'Brien says Microsoft was caught slightly off guard by the demand for RC1, released in late July, through the Corporate Preview Program.

"We've seen an uptake of over 350,000 copies of RC1 over that 100-day period. Just to put it in context, it actually exceeds the same number of requests that we saw for Windows XP, a desktop product," O'Brien says.

The RC2 version will function for 360 days. It can be installed on up to 10 computers.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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