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MS pulls scalability feature from Win2k RC2

Finds another vast security hole, and concretes it over

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Microsoft will officially ship Windows 2000 Release Candidate 2, intended to be the final widespread beta, today, but the company has reportedly removed component load balancing from the Advanced Server and Datacenter Server RC2 code. This raises questions about Win2k's scalability and clustering ability, although the company claims the matter is simply a packaging decision. We at The Register propose to have one of our uncharacteristic attacks of believing Microsoft at this juncture, and we'll tell you why. Load balancing is important to scalability, and scalability has been a running sore for NT for years. So if Microsoft pulls it from the beta one is naturally inclined to suspect that it doesn't work properly yet. But Microsoft has also laid out its plans for multiple versions of Win2k, with feature and pricing escalators attached. So the packaging decision could have been to move this feature upscale in order to differentiate more between the capabilities of the different products. Component load balancing will now ship as standard with the AppCenter Server, scheduled for mid-2000, the idea no doubt being that if you want heavy duty enterprise servers, this is the one you buy. Pulling it at this late stage will of course cause some trouble for companies who were banking on it for an early Win2k rollout, but the code is still available as a free extra from Microsoft, so they're not completely sunk. Suspicious minds might reckon it won't be free when AppCenter ships, however. Meanwhile, other reports suggest that Microsoft, having slipped two weeks in shipping RC2, might be winning the 'ship in 1999' war after all. Paul Thurrots WinInfo says that the build number is 2128, three ahead of what was generally expected last week, and reckons "microsoft is finally shaking off the rumours that it won't RTM Windows 2000 this year." Nate Mook's Betanews (See story) meanwhile reports another piece of jettisoning from RC2. The autologin feature has gone, he says, because although it was handy, it "caused a massive security hole to exist on the system when running the telnet server." Woops. Microsoft hasn't been having a lot of luck in this field recently, having last week had to post a fix for another massive telnet security hole, in Windows 98, here. ®

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