RC1 Released, but Ship Date for W2K Under Wraps

Nine weeks after the release of beta 3, Microsoft Corp. has taken another step forward with Windows 2000 by announcing Release Candidate 1. A company spokesman, however, denies that Oct. 6 has been set as the shipping date for final code, as reported in the press.

Nine weeks after the release of beta 3, Microsoft Corp. has taken another step forward with Windows 2000 by announcing Release Candidate 1. A company spokesman, however, denies that Oct. 6 has been set as the shipping date for final code, as reported in the press.

In this first release candidate, Microsoft has tweaked and enhanced some of the existing features found in the beta release.

Windows 2000 Server:

  • The Configure Your Server tool and Server Administrator snap-ins were edited for clarity.
    • Layout changes were made to improve usability of the MMC snap-ins.
    • DNS enhancements enable the administrator of a DNS server to track whether a record is being used and to periodically scavenge and delete stale records. DNS Agent improves DNS performance by tracking whether a client fails to deregister its records. Such records bloat the DNS database, decreasing DNS server performance.
    • Setup for Terminal Server, part of the base operating system, now offers two installation modes, Remote Administration (RA) or Application Server (AS). RA makes two connections available for administrative purposes. AS enables application installation and sharing.

    Windows 2000 Advanced Server

    • All enhancements listed above.
    • Setup of Cluster Service was simplified and no longer requires a reboot of the server. Also, cluster logging is now enabled by default and the NetBios SMP protocol is now supported.

      Windows 2000 Professional

      • Broader hardware and software support, including DirectX 7 compatibility, many new drivers for video cards -- such as Voodoo3 and ATI Rage 128 -- over 40 new drivers for Wireless LAN support and more than 25 new printer drivers.
      • Additionally, in June Microsoft licensed Domain Migrator technologies from Mission Critical Software Inc. (www.missioncritical.com). Microsoft intends to deliver Domain Migrator as a Microsoft Management Console snap-in along with the release of Windows 2000. Domain Migrator helps customers accelerate the upgrade to Windows 2000 Server from Windows NT Server 4.0 (see story on page 32).

        Microsoft plans to incorporate customer feedback into release candidates every five to nine weeks until the final version is launched. The company, however, has yet to officially announce a release date.

        "We are aiming for a release later this year," says Craig Beilinson, a product manager for Windows 2000. "But that depends on customer feedback. Right now, we’re looking toward RC 2. From there, if customers tell us that it’s good, we can move toward a final version. If they tell us it needs another release candidate, then we’ll do it."