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Update for Microsoft's Windows Server 2003 secures new beta status

May result in unexpected behavior

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Microsoft has strolled a little closer to delivering an update for Windows Server 2003 by showing a release candidate service pack for the OS.

This first service pack for Windows Server 2003 arrives with a variety of new security features, including more stringent privilege policies, support for "no execute" hardware and a fancy security configuration wizard. Along with the release candidate for SP1, Microsoft said beta testers can play with release candidates of its 64-bit Server 2003 and XP operating systems for AMD and Intel's x86-64-bit chips. SP1 and the 64-bit versions of Windows are all much delayed. They're now expected to arrive in production form during the first half of 2005.

The SP1 release comes with all the typical warnings from Microsoft.

"Windows Server 2003 SP 1 addresses known vulnerabilities to Windows Server 2003 by tightening the authorization needed for some services and disabling others all together," Microsoft said. "In some cases this may result in unexpected behavior from your applications."

That sounds exciting.

Customers will also be getting the Windows Firewall released earlier this year with Windows XP SP2.

You can see Microsoft's Top Ten reasons to install the Windows Server 2003 SP1 here. ®

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