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Windows Server 2003 R2 nears completion

Microsoft says it's reached the near-final, Release Candidate 0 (RC0) stage for the update to its server operating system.

Microsoft said Thursday that it has reached the near-final, Release Candidate 0 (RC0) stage for Windows Server 2003 R2, an update to its server operating system. The software giant said it remains on track to release a final version of R2 in the second half of the year.

Designed as a moderate update to the operating system, R2 is a paid upgrade, but by adding features while leaving the core of the OS intact, it's designed to require less testing. The update includes improved branch office and storage management abilities and other capabilities, some of which have previously been released as feature packs. R2 is based on the core of Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1, which was released in March. Microsoft plans to release R2 for its standard, enterprise and datacenter editions and for both 32-bit and 64-bit x86 chips, but not for Intel's Itanium processor.