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In The Wings: Future Features

Some of Windows Server 2003's most talked-about new capabilities aren't quite ready. They'll come a few months from now. Microsoft says it's aiming to deliver a steady stream of new functionality to customers without delaying the base operating system. But the strategy represents a change from Microsoft's past practice of delivering post-release operating-system functionality in service packs that also included patches and bug fixes, Gartner analyst Tom Bittman says. "Clients hated that," he says.

These follow-on technologies are slated for release later this quarter:

  • Active Directory Application Mode will make it easier to create Active Directories for specific applications or departments.
  • Metadirectory Services 2003 will improve Microsoft's technology for managing user and resource identities contained in multiple directories.
  • Group Policy Management Console will let administrators set policies in Active Directory that apply across business units, simplifying installations.
  • Windows SharePoint Services will provide the underlying collaboration services used by SharePoint Portal Server 2003 and Office applications.
  • Automated Deployment Services will simplify provisioning of software "stacks" to many servers.
  • These technologies are due in the third quarter:

  • Real-Time Collaboration Server 2003 will support instant messaging and "presence awareness" in applications.
  • Secure Configuration Wizard will automate the setup of servers for maximum security based on how they'll be used.
  • Windows Rights Management Services will work with Office 2003's Windows Rights Management to let users control who can view or change the documents they create.
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