Thursday, March 18, 2004 8:17 PM bart

About Windows XP SP2 RC1 and other releases

It's an exciting time to see new releases of Microsoft products appear on several places. Today, the release candidate 1 of Windows XP SP2 was release on the Windows Beta website @ Microsoft (installing it right now on my Virtual PC Windows XP Pro installation). But there's more, let me give you an overview of upcoming releases which were announced:

  • Windows Update v5 is on its way; RC1 was brought on-line today as well. More info can be found via http://test.v5.windowsupdate.microsoft.com/
  • MOM (Microsoft Operations Manager) 2004 has been renamed to MOM 2005 (take a look @ http://www.microsoft.com/mom/evaluation/future/mom2005.asp). Note: I'm relatively new to this stuff in the field of network management (in fact I'm more a developer than a system administrator) but I attended the pre-conference day on 'Enterprise Managability' last summer at TechEd 2003 in Spain and I like to play with it as well :-).
  • System Center (which is a combination of Microsoft Operations Manager and System Managements Server together with a new tool codenamed "Indy" for reporting) will ship later this year (being part of the Dynamic Systems Initiative or DSI)
  • Whidbey (the next release of the .NET Framework and Visual Studio .NET) and Yukon (the next release of SQL Server after SQL Server 2000) are in beta stage as well (announced for 2005)
  • Portable Media Center is a light-edition of Windows Media Center and will be shipped later this year (a portable multimedia device; something like iPod but with video, pictures, etc)
  • Windows Updates Services are the second version of SUS (Software Update Services) and allow you to host your own copy of the Microsoft updates on your company network to deploy it on the machines in the network. WUS goes somewhat further than SUS and allow you to distribute updates of Office, SQL Server and Exchange as well (whereas SUS could only cope with Windows updates). Further info on http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserversystem/sus/wusbeta.mspx
  • ISA (Internet Security and Acceleration) Server 2000 will be refreshed as well with the release of ISA Server 2004 later this year (http://www.microsoft.com/isaserver/beta/default.asp). I've been testing this in my test domain (available via MSDN Subscriber Downloads) and in my opinion it's a very huge improvement over ISA 2000 with a cute interface, nice wizards and a lot of power under the hood.

Hot products (recently released) include BizTalk 2004 (http://www.microsoft.com/biztalk/) - which is the third release of BizTalk after BizTalk 2000 and 2002. I'm sure I've forgotten some other great releases but this will do for now. Off for Paris tomorow, woohoo!

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