Release 2 Nearing Release?

Windows Server 2003 R2 was supposed to ship this year, and I suppose it technically did, as Microsoft released the OS to manufacturing. Volume shipments aren’t scheduled to begin in earnest until next February. That could be a good thing. If it was widely available soon, how many of you would end spending the holidays updating servers to get new branch office, management and identity features?

R2 is not a revolution -- we’ll have to wait for Longhorn for that -- but it does have enough goodies to make the update worthwhile. Find out everything you need to know about R2 in our sister site ENTmag.com’s special report here.

CRM 3.0 Ready to Go
Microsoft continues to move upscale with the shipment of the enterprise-class Dynamics CRM 3.0, a product that comes out of Project Green -- the rewrite and integration of core Microsoft business apps. While CRM is largely aimed at the big boys, there is a small business edition of the Microsoft tool. Smaller shops can take business contacts from Business Contact Manager and Outlook and move them to CRM 3.0.

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Another Virtual Price Cut
There’s been a lot of activity in the world of virtualization. One of the most exciting bits of news is new licensing and price cuts from Microsoft, especially when Longhorn ships and multiple instances of servers can be run cheaply. There are good news in the near term, too, as those who buy Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise Edition can get Microsoft Virtual Server for half-off. Shops can run four servers in one for the price of a single OS license, Microsoft says.

VMware 5.5 Released
Meanwhile EMC (which tries to hide the fact that it owns VMware) has released 5.5 of its workstation virtualization tool. The new rev supports 64-bit guests, including Solaris, Linux and FreeBSD. That’s pretty good, as my sense is that XP 64-bit isn’t fully baked and lacks solid driver support. Have you had that experience with XP 64? Let me know at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

About the Author

Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.

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