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Microsoft Releases Beta of Windows for Opteron

Microsoft launched a customer preview program Tuesday for its Windows Server 2003 operating systems for AMD's Opteron processors.

Beta code became available on Tuesday for the Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition for 64-bit Extended Systems. The trial software will be functional for 360 days. Microsoft expects to release Windows Server 2003 for 64-bit Extended Editions in the second half of 2004 in both Enterprise and Standard editions, a Microsoft spokesperson said.

The Opteron processor is based on the x86 instruction set, allowing the processors to run existing 32-bit applications and make it easier for developers to create 64-bit applications by porting existing code. The Intel 64-bit processor, the Itanium, uses a new instruction set for 64-bit processing.

Also on Tuesday, Microsoft detailed some of the differences between the two Opteron-based SKUs of Windows Server. The Standard Edition will support up to four AMD Opteron processors and 32 GB of RAM. Microsoft says the edition will be geared for memory-bound applications that don't require more than four processors, business applications, databases, Terminal Services, Active Directory data stores larger than 2 GB and use in high-performance computing clusters.

The Enterprise Edition will support up to eight AMD Opteron processors and up to 64 GB of RAM. It is intended for line-of-business applications, large databases and Terminal Server deployments using Terminal Server Session Directory, a feature that allows users to easily reconnect to a disconnected session in a load-balanced Terminal Server farm.

Information on the Extended Systems Beta and Customer Preview Program is available here:
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/64bit/extended/default.mspx.

About the Author

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

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