Windows NT 5.0 gets bigger and later

Windows NT 5.0 gets bigger and later

As Windows NT 5.0 beta testers wallow in the huge changes to the technology - Microsoft developers continue to push more features into the OS.

The features come in spite of the fact that Microsoft officials said Beta 2 of the product, released recently, was "feature-complete".

Microsoft has shored up one NT weakness with the purchase of Valence Research, the developer of Convoy Cluster Software for NT. It provides load-balancing services for NT over TCP/IP.

Microsoft this month plans to release a more complete version of COM+, the update to the company's Component Object Model that recently came out in preview form, sources said.

The Valence technology, now Windows NT Load Balancing Service, will be an add-on pack for NT 4.0 and will also be incorporated into NT 5.0, Enterprise Edition, said Ed Muth, group product manager for enterprise marketing.

Users will get their first peek at the latest feature-complete beta version in October at the Professional Developer's Conference in Denver, where Microsoft will distribute a version of Windows NT Server 5.0 that falls somewhere between Beta 2 and Beta 3 status, a source said.

Ship date

After the release of Beta 1 of NT 5.0 last September, testers had to wait almost a year until Beta 2 came out in July. Microsoft will not commit to a ship date and industry observers said the product will not arrive for another year.

The complexity of NT 5.0 has been a concern for developers and IT shops, and it could delay enterprise deployment of the server. A shipping release schedule and year 2000 worries are also raising eyebrows.

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