Microsoft release first public beta for "Longhorn"

According to eWeek, Microsoft will release the third beta, which is also the first pubic beta, for Windows Server “Longhorn” today. So far, Longhorn remains on track for RTM in the second half of 2007.

More than 10,000 people have already tested the product either directly through Microsoft’s technical beta program or through Community Technology Previews through TechNet or MSDN subscriptions.

Windows Server “Longhorn” will build on the improvements made in Windows Server 2003 R2, and add the ability to simplify administration tasks through improved event logging, task scheduling, and enhanced remote management. Longhorn also adds the scripting capabilities of Windows PowerShell.

Beta 3 includes a new server management console that has additional remote administration tools. Windows Firewall with Advanced Security is now on by default. There are improvements in Active Directory Federation Services, which has additional roles and functionality, such as print services and Active Directory Lightweight services.

Longhorn will also feature the first release of the Windows Server Core product, which is a minimal installation of Windows Server that includes all of the core kernel components and subsystems, but no graphical user interface and graphical utilities, such as server manager, MMC, and IE. This provides a smaller footprint and reduces the attack surface of the operating system and will finally allow for the possibility of properly managed remote headless servers.