What's Windows Server 2003?

A. Windows 2003, previously known as Windows .NET Server 2003, is the successor to Windows 2000 Server. Four flavors of Windows 2003 will be available:

  • Windows Server 2003
  • Windows Server 2003, Web Edition (this version won't support Active Directory--AD)
  • Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition
  • Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition

Windows 2003 builds on new technologies and brings new features to AD, such as the ability to rename domain controllers (DCs) and domains and the ability to move domains in the forest. The new server also lets you add DC replicas from storage media so that you can back up a DC's state and apply the backed-up domain information to a new DC--a useful capability when you need to add DCs in regions that use low-bandwidth connections. Windows 2003 also contains a new Group Policy Management Console that simplifies management of all Group Policy tasks.

Microsoft also plans to release a separate component called AD/AM that lets AD run on non-DCs as a non-OS service. A new version of the Active Directory Migration Tool (ADMT 2.0) will let you migrate user accounts and passwords from Win2K and NT 4.0 to Windows 2003 servers. Windows 2003 will also include Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) 6.0 and an enhanced Terminal Services component that will let you use the mstsc /console command to remotely control an actual console session. More information about Windows 2003 is available from the Microsoft Web site.

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