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Microsoft is to ship the McKinley version of its 64-bit .NET Server preview software to PC manufacturers later this month. It being tagged Microsoft Windows Advanced Server, Limited Edition version 1.2, one can reasonably conclude that it is not finished as such, but if we're going to provide software for Intel hardware as soon as it's out (which is what we've said we'll do, isn't it?) then LE it has to be.

This edition, though, is "based on the same 64-bit development code that will be delivered in the Windows .NET Server family," while the earlier Itanium LE version, which shipped (or not, depending on how you interpret Limited Edition) last year, was based on Windows 2000.

So we currently have a Win64 roadmap that runs approximately as follows. 64-bit .NET Server ought to be with us by the end of the year, around the same time as the 32-bit version, while Windows XP 64-bit Edition version 2003 is scheduled to roll out in Q1 2003. If one were cynical, one might note the shortness of the distance between the server and workstation editions, and conclude that Microsoft is really saying 'here's a beta, we'll ship the finished product next year.' But we're not, so we won't. ®

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