In an online chat with Windows enthusiasts yesterday, Microsoft Senior Vice President Bob Muglia discussed details about Longhorn Server, the upcoming refresh for Windows Server 2003. Longhorn Server is expected to ship in 2007, Muglia noted, and will be preceded by Windows 2003 Release 2 (R2), which is due later this year.
According to Muglia, Longhorn Server Beta 1 will ship this summer, just after Longhorn Client Beta 1, which is due in July. That would place the Longhorn Server Beta 1 release in late July or early August, and a Microsoft representative acknowledged that the company was scheduling a Longhorn Server Beta 1 chat for early August to coincide with the release. Presumably, then, Microsoft will make Longhorn Server Beta 1 available to the public. Microsoft has previously said that it won't make Longhorn Client Beta 1 widely available to the public, however.
Muglia denied that the Active Directory (AD) version in Longhorn Server will be based on Microsoft SQL Server technology. Although the company continues to work to port AD to a SQL Server-based data store, he said, Longhorn Server will use an improved version of the Microsoft Jet database engine that today's AD versions use.
Muglia also renewed talk about a possible home edition of Longhorn Server, noting that a stripped-down version would be perfect for home networks through which digital media content is distributed around the house. Muglia said that many people are deploying Windows Small Business Server (SBS) 2003 in homes for this purpose today.
Longhorn Server will be highly componentized so that it can be reconfigured for various roles on the fly. It will include Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) 7.0, Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) 3.0, and network quarantine features. For more information about Longhorn Server, visit my Longhorn Server Preview on the SuperSite for Windows.