Microsoft’s Brandon LeBlanc reports that Microsoft has released Windows Search 4.0 which replaces Windows Desktop Search in Windows XP and Instant Search in Windows Vista as well as the relevant applications in Windows Server 2003, 2008, and Windows Home Server. Downloads of Windows Search 4.0 are now available and if you can wait a bit, it will show up on Windows Update.
Some notable enhancements in the new version include cross system searches (as long as they all run Windows Search 4.0) and improved Group Policy management for large organizations, but I expect that the greatest initial interest will be in ordinary desktop search. XP’s Windows Desktop Search was a resource hog that produced such mediocre results that disabling it figured prominently on most lists of XP performance improvement tips and had me pining for my old copy of Lotus Magellan. Vista’s Instant Search is certainly improved in both form and function so it will be interesting to kick the tires. Early reviews of Windows Search 4.0 indicate that there are still some rough edges and while it beats Google Desktop search in function, it still lags in speed.
Today Microsoft released Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 (SP2), which as many know by now is a cumulative service pack that provides the latest updates, security and stability enhancements, and newest features for the Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP Professional x64 operating systems.
In particular, it covers Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2003 R2 in all the various editions for the x86, x64 and IA64 platforms.
Windows Server 2003 SP2 is also the foundation operating system for the upcoming service pack of Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003, which will be available for download and CD orders within the next 30 days.
Microsoft’s Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 page has links to all the various downloads and tools and the SP2 Technical Overview explains the installation paths for the various versions as well as explaining what’s new and improved besides the roll-up of fixes. Although SP2 was expected in 1Q and there isn’t much of that left, it arrived without warning and that has some system administrators a little grumpy.
This morning, we signed off Exchange 2007 for release to you!
We’ve bet the company on this product. Here at Microsoft, we have over 120,000 mailboxes running in production on Exchange 2007 – exceeding our SLA of 99.95% availability. Likewise, over 200 Technology Adoption Partners and Rapid Deployment Partners have over 55,000 mailboxes in production operating within their enterprise SLA’s.
In addition to taking the time to ensure this software was rock solid for you, we’ve invested more time in documentation and deployment guidance than we have for any other release previously. Please do check it out and let us know if we’re missing something you need.
I’ve already mentioned the Forefront announcements, but Microsoft had quite a bit more to reveal today at their Tech Ed IT Forum 2006 in Barcelona:
Today at Microsoft Tech Ed: IT Forum 2006, Microsoft Corp. announced the formation of the Interop Vendor Alliance, a global, cross-industry group of software and hardware vendors that will work together to identify opportunities for enhancing interoperability with Microsoft systems on behalf of their customers.
Notable among the founding members are BEA, Novell, Sun and AMD, but not Intel, although why AMD signed up is a bit of mystery. Of course, the whole alliance is a bit of a mystery as the goals described are unusually fuzzy. However, Scott M. Fulton III may have won the prize with the observation:
In Europe, at the heart of the global controversy over whether Microsoft and interoperability are incompatible, the Redmond company announced it is funding a global consortium of software and hardware manufacturers in the name of interoperability itself.
Maybe it’s an extra credit assignment from Neelie Kroes?
Update Nov. 15: PowerShell won’t be compatible with Vista until January 31, 2007.
Update Nov 16: Peter Galli at eWeek elaborates on Longhorn Server:
The Redmond, Wash., software maker plans to release another Longhorn CTP (Community Technology Preview) later this year, followed by another CTP in early 2007 and then Longhorn Beta 3 by the middle of the year.
“The current plan is to ship Longhorn and Vista SP1 simultaneously, as it is one source code base. So, if you follow that model, you have to ship them both at roughly the same time,” Bob Muglia, Microsoft’s senior vice president for server and tools, told eWeek at the company’s TechEd IT Forum here.
The server code will be feature-complete in early 2007, said Muglia, who put to rest speculation that Longhorn would be officially renamed Vista Server, as it is referred to on some Microsoft staff blogs.