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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

April 25, 2007 at 5:46 PM

Beta 3 of Windows Server ‘Longhorn’ available

Microsoft wants IT pros to try the latest — and first public — beta version of its forthcoming update to Windows Server, codenamed “Longhorn.” It just posted the code here.

“This is our big public release,” Bob Visse, senior director of Windows Server, said in an interview earlier today. “This will actually go to hundreds of thousands of users.”

Visse said Longhorn will accelerate the industry’s transition from 32-bit to 64-bit computing. It’s the company’s last 32-bit server release, he said.

“This is the OS that will kind of push forward the next generation of hardware and applications in the server space,” Visse said.

The company expects to release a final version in the second half of this year.

While Microsoft’s server business has grown to be an industry leader in the past two decades, it does not enjoy the unfettered dominance the company has on the desktop. Windows Server surpassed Unix as the leading server operating system in 2005, according to figures from IDC. In the fourth quarter, Windows Server revenue of $5.3 billion represented 34.9 percent of factory revenue, which is the largest segment of the market, according to IDC.

The company has more than 90 percent of the market for desktop Windows.

If you don’t really know anything about servers, that’s how it should be, Visse said.

“If we’re doing a good job as IT pros, you shouldn’t have to know,” he said.

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