Windows Server Devision Blog: One of the things we get asked a lot is when Longhorn Server will be released and when people will be able to get their hands on a new pre-release build. In fact, as Patrick mentions below, this was also a frequently asked question for Jim Allchin, co-president of our Platforms, Products and Services division, when he met with journalists, bloggers and analysts this week, so we thought it was time to put our cards on the table.
The only time we've done any kind of "semi-public" preview release was when we distributed Build 5219 to PDC attendees last September. In addition, customers who are part of our Technical Beta program also got to see Build 5270 in December. We do provide more regular drops to OEMs, partners and Technology Adoption Program customers, but they are private programs.
"That's all well and good, but when can *I* get to see it?" you cry. Well, you won't have to wait too much longer. We're planning to kick off a Customer Technology Preview (CTP) program to coincide with Beta 2, which will arrive in the second quarter of this year. That means all MSDN and TechNet subscribers will be able to download it and start playing with fun new things like Network Access Protection, Server Core, IIS 7.0, Terminal Services Gateway and Remote Applications. You'll also get to pair it with Windows Vista to see the performance and reliability improvements we've made in our completely redesigned TCP/IP stack.