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Microsoft Issues Datacenter Server Beta 2

Microsoft Corp. today issued the second beta of its Datacenter Server. The pending OS will ship to OEM partners, who then will distribute it to customers.

"Beta 2 is feature complete at this point," says Michel Gambier, group product manager of enterprise server marketing at Microsoft (www.microsoft.com).

Gambier also said that Microsoft did not remove from beta 2 any features that were in previous versions. And the company plans not to drop any features between now and the final release.

The beta process for Datacenter Server has been different from that of Windows 2000 Server and Advanced Server, in that the overlapping features are already completed.

The testing procedure is also slightly different. Microsoft requires OEMs to test beta 2 with the configuration that will be sent out to customers before making it available to them.

Datacenter Server will also be tested by fewer beta sites. While the previous editions of Windows 2000 were tested at upwards of 500,000 sites, the first Datacenter beta went to 300 customers. Beta 2 is expected to be tested by hundred of sites, but the actuall number will be determined by the OEMs. Gambier says this is because the final version of Datacenter will be available only through OEMs.

Microsoft’s objectives for beta 2 are to not only test the software, but also the surrounding elements, such as the Windows Datacenter Server Program, a joint-support program between Microsoft and it’s OEM partners announced in February.

Microsoft plans to issue a release candidate of Datacenter Server following this beta phase.

Datacenter Server was originally scheduled to ship 90-120 days after the Windows 2000 launch. Microsoft extended that estimated timeframe back to the full 120 days around the time it released the other three versions. Now, Gambier says the final release date won’t be June, but that Microsoft is confident it will be a summer release.

"It’s Windows 2000, so it’s not like the whole OS is new," Gambier says. - Thomas Sullivan

About the Author

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