While most of the operating system questions on last week’s Jim Allchin publicity tour had to do with Windows Vista, he didn’t forget Longhorn Server. 2006 may be the year for shipping Vista, but Longhorn betas and CTPs will be rolling out as well on the road to its ship in 2007. David Lowe, a senior product manager in the Windows Server group, reveals more details at the Windows Server Division Weblog:
That’s all well and good, but when can *I* get to see it?” you cry. Well, you won’t have to wait too much longer. We’re planning to kick off a Customer Technology Preview (CTP) program to coincide with Beta 2, which will arrive in the second quarter of this year. That means all MSDN and TechNet subscribers will be able to download it and start playing with fun new things like Network Access Protection, Server Core, IIS 7.0, Terminal Services Gateway and Remote Applications. You’ll also get to pair it with Windows Vista to see the performance and reliability improvements we’ve made in our completely redesigned TCP/IP stack.
“So what happens after Beta 2?” you shout. We know that after you’ve seen Beta 2, you’ll want to see more, so just like we’ve done with products like SQL Server 2005, Visual Studio 2005 and Windows Vista, we’ll start putting out those CTP releases on a more regular basis to keep your appetites whetted. That will allow us to get continuous feedback from you on our progress as we work our way up to Beta 3, which should appear before the end of this year with pretty much all features and roles in place.