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Microsoft releases new Longhorn Server build

Release makes tweaks in performance and stability, but there's still another beta to come before launch of server OS.

Microsoft has released a refresh to Windows Server "Longhorn" Beta 2 that offers bug fixes and improvements in performance and reliability, according to the company.

The August Community Technology Preview (CTP) of Longhorn Server, build 5600, was delivered to Microsoft Developer Network and TechNet subscribers over the weekend. It comes on the heels of Windows Vista Release Candidate 1, which appeared at the beginning of September. The Vista operating system update is scheduled to arrive early next year.

Microsoft issued Beta 2 versions of Windows Vista and Longhorn Server at the same time in May, but Longhorn isn't due until late 2007. A Longhorn Server Beta 3 is planned for the first half of next year.

The company said it has put all the core improvements made to Vista in the new build of Longhorn Server as well. These boil down primarily to improvements in stability and performance, including boot time and setup time, Microsoft said. It has said that Vista and Longhorn Server will share a common code base.

Known problems include issues with BitLocker encryption when a system wakes from hibernation, and incompatibility with the subsystem for Unix-based applications. People have also reported problems installing the build in VMware virtual machines.

Other Microsoft releases in recent days include the Visual Studio extensions for .Net 3.0 RC1, IronPython 1.0 and a PDF plug-in for Office 2007. On Wednesday, Microsoft updated the test version of Office 2007, which is expected to be finalized later this year.

Matt Broersma reported for ZDNet UK in London.