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Windows Server 2003

The successor to Windows 2000 Server, Microsoft's Windows Server 2003 is a step in the evolution of Microsoft's server operating systems.

Initially, the product was to be called "Windows 2003 Server .NET," to promote the integrated enterprise framework .NET (dot-net). Performance of ASP.NET[?] (the successor of Active Server Pages) improves and integration is tighter in this improved Microsoft server.

However, over fears of confusing the market about what ".NET" represents and responding to criticism, Microsoft removed .NET from the name. This allowed the name .NET to exclusively apply to the .NET framework, as previously it appeared .NET was just a tag for a generation of Microsoft products.

It is to be released at the end of April, 2003.

Table of contents


There are a number of improvements from Windows 2000 server, notably:

  • Improvements to Active Directory (such as the ability to delete classes from the schema)
  • Improvements to Group Policy[?] handling and administration
  • Improved disc management including the ability to backup from shadows of files (allowing the backup of open files.)
  • Many more things.


This Microsoft server comes in several flavors, each suited for a particular size and type of business:

  1. Web Edition
  2. Standard Edition
  3. Enterprise Edition
  4. Datacenter Edition

Web Edition

Windows Server 2003, Web Edition is mainly for building and hosting Web applications, Web pages, and XML Web Services. It is designed to be used primarily as an IIS 6.0 Web server and provides a platform for rapidly developing and deploying XML Web services and applications that use ASP.NET[?] technology, a key part of the .NET Framework.

Standard Edition

Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition is aimed towards small to medium sized businesses. Flexible yet versatile, Standard Edition supports file and printer sharing, offers secure Internet connectivity, and allows centralized desktop application deployment.

Enterprise Edition

Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition is aimed towards medium to large businesses. It is a full-function server operating system that supports up to eight processors and provides enterprise-class features such as eight-node clustering and support for up to 32 GB of memory. Enterprise Edition also comes in 64-bit edition for Intel Itanium-based computers capable of supporting 8 processors and 64 GB of RAM.

Datacenter Edition

Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition is the flagship of the Windows Server line and designed for immense infrastructures demanding high security and reliability. Datacenter supports up to 32-way SMP and 64 GB of RAM with the 32-bit version and up to 128-way machines with individual partitions of up to 64 processors and 512 GB of RAM with the 64-bit version. Datacenter provides both eight-node clustering and load balancing services as standard features and includes Windows System Resource Manager facilitating consolidation and system management.


Licensing for Standard Windows 2003 Server is $999US. For more than 5 Active Directory remote-connected users (users of Exchange, for example,) additional costs are incurred.

The Web Server runs for about $397US. Client access licenses are not required for the Web Server.

A Datacenter server must be obtained through an OEM, and therefore costs are unknown.

Background on TCO

Microsoft commissioned a firm to determine the TCO for several enterprise applications on Windows 2000, such as security and other infrastructure tasks, and Web Serving. Windows 2000 had a lower TCO for the four infrastructure items, but Linux (according to the report) had a lower TCO for web serving.

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All Wikipedia text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

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