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Public Beta of Windows Server 2003 'R2' Expected This Week

Microsoft plans to post a public beta of Windows Server 2003 "R2" this week.

R2 is an interim release of Windows Server 2003 that is supposed to ship by the end of this year. It rolls together several of the Windows Server 2003 feature packs and adds some new capabilities for storage management, branch office server management capabilities and Active Directory.

The server, based on Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 code, will give users an updated version of the code well ahead of the next server version, "Longhorn," which isn't scheduled to ship until 2007. SP1 came out in March. Free upgrades to R2 will require Software Assurance contracts. Other users will get the code when buying new Windows Server 2003 licenses after R2 ships and becomes the default edition.

Microsoft made a private beta of R2 available to about 1,500 testers in December and later expanded the program to about 2,800 testers.

About the Author

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

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