First up, Tom Henderson and Laszlo Haynes of Network World posted a generally fair and positive review of Beta 2. They really liked the new Server Manager ("Server configuration has never been easier"), Terminal Services Gateway ("very speedy and startlingly easy to configure") and the new TCP/IP stack ("dual IPv4/IPv6 traffic was handled equally well under moderate stress"), while also giving props to many of our new security enhancements, including Network Access Protection, User Account Control and hardware device installation control.
On that last point, if any of you ever watched the now sadly-defunct "Alias", think about the number of times that Sydney Bristow managed to steal important information from terrorists by gaining physical access to a server (usually through some combination of vivid wigs, scanty clothing, multilingual flirting and high-kicking chop-socky) and then simply plugging in a USB flash drive to transfer the files she needed. If Windows Server "Longhorn" had been around, Alias probably wouldn't have gotten renewed past its first season.
But I digress… Tom and Laszlo don't have all good things to say – they have some concerns over performance (they acknowledge that they're dealing with Beta 2 code) and the lack of features around search optimization, advanced clustering and virtualization. We will have more news to deliver on clustering as we get closer to our Beta 3 milestone (first half of 2007) and in case you missed it, we are geared up to deliver our Windows Server Virtualization technology within 180 days of Windows Server "Longhorn".
In general, the tone of the review was upbeat and optimistic, with the reviewers closing by saying "in the enormous amount of rewritten, revised and replaced code in Longhorn Beta 2, we found hope in what will be the next generation of Windows Server."
No arguments there from us.