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Microsoft: 1 Million Downloads of Windows Server 2003 Preview

Microsoft claims more than 1 million customers downloaded the Windows Server 2003 preview code through the Corporate Preview Program prior to the server's launch, which is scheduled for Thursday in San Francisco.

"[It's] the highest level of distribution for any server in the history of Microsoft," the company said in an announcement Wednesday. The release of the number is designed to demonstrate momentum around the operating system, which is a relatively minor upgrade of Windows 2000 compared to the massive changes between Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 2000.

Microsoft also pointed to customer uptake in its more involved Windows Server 2003 preview programs -- the Rapid Adoption Program and the Joint Development Program. The software company says 155 customers deployed Windows Server 2003 through the Rapid Adoption Program, with 9,493 of the servers currently deployed. Microsoft has 61 customers participating in the Joint Development Program, its most involved tier.

Windows Server 2003 was Microsoft's first major product to move through the new Enterprise Engineering Center, a lab where Microsoft replicates customer's specific IT environments to validate planned upgrades, migrations, deployments and application compatibility. There were 47 customers that went through the EEC for Windows Server 2003.

"Customers reported that testing at EEC lab accelerated their deployments 100 percent of the time by an average of 9.2 months," Microsoft claimed. EEC customers requested about 15 design changes each, resulting in 650 changes to the operating system from the engagements, Microsoft said.

About the Author

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

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