Microsoft Windows .NET Server 2003 Launch Countdown Begins
Nov. 18, 2002
Product Enters Final Testing, Is Scheduled to be Available in April

LAS VEGAS, Nov. 18, 2002 — Last night in his COMDEX Fall 2002 keynote address, Microsoft Corp. Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates announced that Microsoft® Windows® .NET Server 2003 is scheduled to be commercially available in April 2003, with release candidate two (RC2) to be delivered to customers in the next few weeks. Windows .NET Server 2003 is a comprehensive, integrated and stable infrastructure platform designed to help customers reduce costs and increase the efficiency of IT operations. Building on Windows 2000 Server family strengths, the new platform helps customers extend existing resources and build a new generation of connected applications that improve business productivity.

"We're in the final countdown," said Brian Valentine, senior vice president of the Windows Division at Microsoft. "We're putting the finishing touches on the product and getting it out to our top customers and industry partners for final testing. When we release Windows .NET Server 2003, it will be rock-solid. It's the foundation through which Microsoft solutions connect information, people, systems and devices; the engineering team is well aware of how critical this release will be and is working hard to deliver the level of quality, security enhancements and performance our customers expect."

Maximizing IT Productivity

Windows .NET Server 2003 enables customers to maximize business productivity within a stable computing environment and provides integrated application services based on industry-standard extensible markup language (XML) and Web services. This, combined with Windows Server's longstanding commitment to deliver industry-leading price and performance, is making Windows .NET Server 2003 one of the most anticipated enterprise products in company history.

  • Aligning IT and business. In today's economy, IT investments must be aligned with business goals to achieve maximum productivity. Windows .NET Server 2003 helps customers increase the return on existing investments to better integrate their systems and build innovative new, needed applications. Native integration of the .NET Framework provides a foundation for new applications to connect information, people, systems and devices.

  • Operational efficiency. In an increasingly connected world, high performance and secure networked computing are more important than ever. With performance, security and reliability enhancements, Windows .NET Server 2003 enables customers to more fully leverage resources, and improve administrative effectiveness and efficiency. Improvements to system resource management, configuration automation and policy-based process recycling provide a stable, connected platform.

  • Platform dependability. Customers increasingly require highly available and reliable systems that deliver consistent and predictable levels of service, and Windows .NET Server 2003 is the server platform that meets and exceeds the most demanding customer needs. The secure-by-design, secure-by-default approach in Windows .NET Server 2003 is with a system that meets Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing objectives to deliver greater levels of assurance. Performance and scalability improvements, coupled with highly reliable fault-tolerant systems, are making Windows .NET Server 2003 the obvious choice for customers migrating from Windows NT® Server 4.0.

"Windows .NET Server 2003 has provided us with increased savings, manageability, scalability, and a reliable solution," said Mark Adams, assistant vice president of Information Technology at Enterprise Rent-A-Car Co. "As the largest rental-car agency in North America, we must ensure that our IT investments support our business model. We're confident that Windows .NET Server 2003 solution will provide our employees with all the capabilities they need to remain competitive in our marketplace."

Microsoft is constantly working with leading hardware manufacturers to create the greater scale-up capability of Windows .NET Server 2003. For example, HP is now successfully running Windows .NET Server 2003 Datacenter Edition on its Superdome server configured with 64 Itanium-2 processors and 512 GB memory.

"HP and Microsoft continue years of collaboration by optimizing the performance of 64-bit Windows .NET Server across HP's entire Itanium-based product line," said Peter Blackmore, executive vice president of the Enterprise Systems Group at HP. " We are particularly excited about the potential business value of 64-bit Windows combined with our industry leading super-scalar HP Superdome server. With Superdome and Windows, we're anticipating unprecedented levels of performance and scalability that will enable customers to extend Windows further into their enterprise datacenter."

Finalization of Packaging

With RC2, Microsoft will have completed final packaging for each of its four editions of Windows .NET Server 2003. This includes activated support for 64-way large multiprocessing systems for the high-end Datacenter Edition, enabling greater performance capacity and making it suitable for the most demanding applications and systems. Comprehensive information on features by edition can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/windows.netserver/evaluation/features/featuresorter.aspx .

  • Windows .NET Server 2003 Datacenter Edition is ideally suited for business- and mission-critical applications that demand the highest levels of scalability and availability; it will be available in 32-bit and 64-bit editions.

  • Windows .NET Server 2003 Enterprise Edition is the platform of choice for high reliability and superior performance and business value; it will be available in 32-bit and 64-bit editions.

  • Windows .NET Server 2003 Standard Edition is the general-purpose server operating system for everyday needs of businesses of all sizes.

  • Windows .NET Server 2003 Web Edition is optimized for serving and hosting Web pages.

"Windows .NET Server 2003 delivers many improvements that customers will want to evaluate," said Michael Cherry, lead analyst for operating systems at independent analyst firm Directions on Microsoft. "With Windows .NET Server 2003, Microsoft has improved key technologies such as Windows System Resource Manager, Active Directory® , and Group Policy Manager and made them simpler, more flexible and efficient. Customers should give Windows .NET Server 2003 a close look."

"We expect Windows .NET Server 2003 to provide our customers with the reliability, availability and scalability required for their infrastructure consolidation programs," said Russ Holt, vice president and general manager of the Enterprise Systems Group at Dell Computer Corp. "Customers migrating from Windows NT and UNIX-based infrastructures will benefit from the improvements in Windows .NET Server 2003 while lowering their total cost of ownership."

Customers will be able to sign up for the free trial version of Windows .NET Server 2003 RC2 customer preview program download or CD evaluation copy as soon as RC2 becomes available at http://www.microsoft.com/windows.netserver/default.mspx .

About Windows .NET Server 2003

Windows .NET Server 2003 is a comprehensive, integrated and secure infrastructure designed to help customers reduce costs and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of IT operations. Building on Windows 2000 Server family strengths, the new server platform helps customers extend existing resources while laying the foundation for building a new generation of connected applications that improve business productivity. More information is available at http://www.microsoft.com/windows.netserver/ .

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT" ) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software -- any time, any place and on any device.

Microsoft, Windows, Windows NT and Active Directory are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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