Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Is Available Worldwide Today

New Releases of Windows Server 2003, Visual Studio .NET 2003and Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition (64-Bit) Enable Customers to "Do More With Less"

SAN FRANCISCO -- April 24, 2003 -- Microsoft Corp. today announced the general availability of Windows Server (TM) 2003, an integrated server platform that enables customers to improve information technology (IT) efficiency, increase user productivity and build better performing applications faster than ever. With the Windows Server platform, customers can power Microsoft® .NET-connected applications, networks and Web services from the workgroup to the datacenter while deriving more value from their existing IT investments and lowering overall computing costs. Simultaneous with Windows Server 2003 availability, Microsoft also today announced Visual Studio® .NET 2003 and SQL Server (TM) 2000 Enterprise Edition (64-bit). This trio of products establishes a new standard in business value by providing an integrated, interoperable infrastructure that delivers the industry-leading performance, scalability and reliability required to support the budget demands of today's lean IT departments.

"As Microsoft's flagship server product, Windows Server 2003 delivers the performance and productivity business customers expect, while maximizing every dollar of their IT investment," said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. "Windows Server 2003 with Visual Studio .NET 2003 and SQL Server 2000 (64-bit) is the cornerstone of Microsoft's enterprise strategy and lays the foundation for customers to implement integrated, cost-effective solutions that connect information, people, systems and devices."

Windows Server 2003 Enables Customers to Run Their Server Infrastructure 30 Percent More Efficiently Than Windows NT 4.0

IT administrators around the globe are challenged to build secure and manageable infrastructures, while reducing downtime and operational costs. Windows Server 2003 was designed to support the demands of today's businesses by delivering consistently high levels of reliability, scalability and manageability while consistently delivering breakthroughs in cost reduction and accelerated return on investment for customers. Even before general availability, Windows Server 2003 is being deployed by more than 50 enterprise customers in some of the most demanding business environments throughout the world. Results of early Windows Server 2003 deployments demonstrate that customers can run their server infrastructure up to 30 percent more efficiently than Windows NT® 4.0.

"The Kentucky Department of Education made a strategic decision to upgrade the entire statewide education IT infrastructure from Windows NT 4.0 to Windows Server 2003," said Chuck Austin, project manager, Kentucky Department of Education. "The significant improvements in security and manageability in Windows Server 2003 will allow us to centralize management and be more proactive in securing the infrastructure. As a result, we will be able to drive down costs and provide a better experience to the school districts we serve."

Improved IT efficiency and reduced operating costs are core principles for the development of the entire portfolio of Microsoft servers as well as for Windows Server 2003. Last week, Microsoft introduced a new brand, Windows Server System (TM) , which underscores Microsoft's long-term commitment to the Windows Server platform as the foundation for its overall server infrastructure strategy. This brand also reinforces Microsoft's ongoing commitment to reducing IT complexity and cost by delivering a comprehensive, integrated and interoperable server infrastructure with which customers can build, deploy, connect and operate agile business solutions.

Windows Server 2003 Delivers the Best Server Infrastructure for Enhancing Information Worker Productivity

Today's companies rely on computing technology to improve productivity across their businesses -- from the front-end knowledge worker who wants powerful tools that are easier to use to back-end administrators who require services that are quick to deploy and easy to manage. Windows Server 2003 provides a foundation that makes it easier to collaborate and share projects, leverage critical information from anywhere, and deliver through corporate intranets and the Internet richer, more-effective streaming media training and communication with Microsoft Windows Media® Services 9 Series.

"We are deploying Windows Server 2003 because we think it will provide tremendous business value to the Automation and Control Solutions divisions of Honeywell by providing our employees with flexible access to resources in our network," said Ramon Baez, chief information officer of ACS at Honeywell. "We are deploying Windows SharePoint (TM) Services to empower our employees to increase the range of ways to access the information they need to do their jobs."

Windows Server 2003 Scales From the Largest Enterprise to the Smallest Business

Designed to meet high-end enterprise workloads and levels of demand, Windows Server 2003 is the first Windows® server release to support Intel Itanium 64-bit systems. The combination of Windows Server 2003 64-bit edition and SQL Server 2000 (64-bit) edition has achieved world-record database performance results.

"JetBlue Airways uses Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition and SQL Server 2000 (64-bit) to power its network," said Jeff Cohen, chief information officer at JetBlue Airways. "IT infrastructure is a strategic asset for this company. We depend on the scalability and reliability of the Windows Server platform for vital operations such as the delivery of up-to-date electronic flight manuals for each and every flight that help us to meet FAA regulations and for our mission-critical maintenance and engineering system."

For small businesses with little or no IT staff, Windows Server 2003 offers increased simplicity and ease of use that enables these organizations to focus on managing business -- rather than technology.

"We are very excited to be upgrading our Windows NT 4.0 infrastructure to Windows Server 2003," said Eric Kestenblatt plant manager at Fleischer's Bagels. "It promises immediate value for our business -- lowering our IT costs while helping us improve operational efficiency by supporting new line-of-business applications on a system that is more reliable and flexible."

Windows Server 2003 Family

The Windows Server 2003 family includes the functionality customers expect from a mission-critical Windows server operating system, such as enhancements in security, reliability, availability, manageability and scalability.

Worldwide Availability

The Windows Server 2003 family of products was designed for customers worldwide. At launch, 13 language versions have been completed, with the remainder to become available over the next 30 to 45 days.

More information is available at

For additional information about Visual Studio .NET 2003 and SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition (64-bit), please see related press releases at and

About Windows Server 2003

Windows Server 2003 is a comprehensive, integrated and secure infrastructure designed to help customers reduce costs and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of IT operations. Building on Windows 2000 family strengths, the new server platform helps customers extend existing resources while laying the foundation for building a new generation of connected applications that improve business productivity. Windows Server 2003 is the foundation for the Microsoft Windows Server System, an integrated server infrastructure for building, deploying and operating agile business solutions.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software -- any time, any place and on any device.

Microsoft, Windows Server, Visual Studio, Windows NT, Windows Media, Windows Server System, SharePoint and Windows and are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft's corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft's Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at

Windows Server 2003 by the Numbers: One of the Biggest Product Launches in Microsoft History

From the total number of developers on the project to the average number of donuts eaten at meetings, everything you'd ever want to know about the development and launch of Windows Server 2003.

REDMOND, Wash., April 23, 2003 — The launch of Windows Server 2003 marks one of the biggest product launches in Microsoft history. The goal for Windows Server 2003 was clear: create a comprehensive, integrated and secure technology infrastructure to help customers reduce costs and increase the efficiency of IT operations. But building software to accomplish this was, quite simply, the most ambitious and complicated programming effort ever at Microsoft. Here's a quick look at some of the facts and figures that led to the Windows Server 2003 launch.

The Final Product: Numbers Speak for Themselves

Though not yet released, preliminary testing from customers and industry groups have found that the numbers they're seeing imply that all that went into developing Windows Server 2003 has paid off.

Customers running beta versions of Windows Server 2003 report some noteworthy numbers:
IT infrastructures ran up to 30 percent more efficiently.
20 to 30 percent reduction in the number of servers to perform the same workload
Performance levels up to twice as fast across all workloads
20 percent reduction in overall management costs
35 percent of customers were able to redeploy IT staff from server management to higher value projects
50 percent reduction in deployment cost and 40 percent increase in stability over similar Windows NT Server 4.0 infrastructure
Build applications in half the time with twice the performance.
Number one in scalability and performance. Industry-leading Transaction Processing Performance Council (TPPC) benchmarks ranked Windows Server 2003 and SQL Server 2000 as the fastest 32-way online transaction servers in the world, with 658,277 transactions per minute ( ), as of April 24, 2003). This achievement means that Windows Server 2003 offers the performance and scalability to operate mission critical applications with plenty of room for growth.

Customer, Partner Input Drives Windows Server 2003 Development

Microsoft engaged the feedback from hundreds of customers, industry partners and of thousands of independent testers to help build the Windows Server 2003 family. Customer input has come from a variety of initiatives:

Customer and Partner Fast Facts:

Customer Feedback from the Lab: The Enterprise Engineering Center

The Enterprise Engineering Center (EEC) is a new set of lab facilities in which Microsoft replicates real-world IT environments to test Microsoft products such as Windows Server 2003. Customers are able to validate their planned upgrades, migrations and deployments and test for compatibility and "deployment blockers," which enables Microsoft to improve the quality of its software before it is released.

"We want to make sure that our products are deployable from day one," says George Santino, Product Unit Manager, EEC. "Customers shouldn't have to wait until the release of Service Packs to realize the benefits of Microsoft products. With a facility like the EEC, we can address deployment issues before we ship the product so that customers can receive an immediate return on their IT investment."

The Largest Software Development Project in Microsoft History

Todd Wanke, project manager for Windows Server, was responsible for overseeing the day-to-day development of Windows Server 2003. "My job was to make sure that, day after day, everyone on the development and testing teams was working toward the same quality milestones," says Wanke. "Quality was our primary concern. We weren't afraid to let the product release date slip if that's what we needed to do for quality."

The Daily Grind: the "War Room" Meetings

An important institution for the Windows Server 2003 development team was the "War Room," where key development, testing and management team members met to discuss issues, settle disputes and "triage" bugs - work to fix bugs identified through testing or through employee's voluntary use of the day's "build," the daily release of the most recent code base.

As overseen by Todd Wanke, the War Room was also where key decisions were made regarding what features would be shipped in Windows Server 2003, and which would be postponed till later versions. Although War Room meetings were based on camaraderie and a format of open discussion, passions often ran high. Andrew Cushman, group manager for Internet Information Services (IIS), was a frequent War Room attendee. He recalls one War Room meeting attended by visiting Microsoft employees from the company's European offices.

"Our European colleagues were astonished by the intensity of the meeting and the authority delegated to teams' War Room representatives" says Cushman. "People were very passionate about decisions made in the War Room because they understood the impact their decisions would have on thousands and millions of customers around the world."

Ending with a Bang: The Largest Microsoft Server Product Launch

A project that takes three years 7,500 developers and testers and tens of million of lines of code to complete deserves a party when all is said and done. The launch of Windows Server 2003 will fittingly be the largest server launch event in the history of Microsoft.