Windows Server 2003 SP1 RC1 (Release Candidate 1) is now available for download.

Apart from a plethora of security enhancements, there are some pretty compelling reasons to take an early look at SP1. Apart from the built in firewall which is akin to the XP SP2 firewall, but better, the two features I particularly like are the Post-Setup Security Updates (PSSU) and the Security Configuration Wizard (SCW). PSSU effectively locks down the computer to stop it being hacked after installation. Note that this is only on slipstream installations. The SCW allows you to define the roles for a computer to ensure that the firewall is appropriately configured.

If you have Virtual PC, Virtual Server, a spare machine or a test environment, take a look. Please do not install it on your production environment! It can be downloaded following this link.

Comments (4)

  1. Stefen Niemeyer says:

    Hm, that 32-Bit and Itanium,

    and what about x64-version (64-Bit for AMD64 and Xeon)?

  2. John Howard [MSFT] says:

    The RC code for the x64 edition of Windows Server 2003 SP1 will be soon be made available via the Windows Server 2003 x64 beta Customer Preview Program (CPP). You can register for this at AFAIK, Windows Server 2003 x64 is for the AMD64 and Intel EM64T processors.

    Hope this helps.

  3. Singh400 says:

    Hi, can you please tell me what the build number is on this release thanks.

  4. John Howard [MSFT] says:

    The build string is "Build 3790 (Service Pack 1, v.1289)"

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