Scheduled for general availability by the end of this year, R2 is an update release of Windows Server 2003 SP1 and is supposed to bring improvements for branch office server scenarios, identity and access management and storage management. The product also collects many of the feature packs that Microsoft released after Windows Server 2003 initially shipped.
There will be three editions: Standard, Enterprise and Datacenter. All three will be available in 32-bit and x64 editions.
Unlike a service pack, the R2 version will not be a free update for customers who have own licenses for Windows Server 2003. Customers with Software Assurance contracts will be able to upgrade to R2 without additional charge.
The release candidate is available at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/r2.
About the Author
Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.
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