Microsoft betas progress toward completion

Windows Server 2003 SP2 beta is inching along, and a new package, Essentials, has reached a new beta milestone.

Microsoft has made progress this week on two of its upcoming releases. Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 got a beta refresh. Build 2786 of the refresh contains a rollup of hotfixes, security updates and bug fixes reported by beta customers. This second service pack is due out later this fall.

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Microsoft aims management bundle at midsized users

The company also released System Center Essentials 2007 Beta 2. The software is a package aimed at the midmarket that consolidates manageability tools, such as System Center Operations Manager, Reporting Server and Windows Server Update Services.

There is a single console for viewing along with unified reporting that checks the status of the IT environment. Microsoft unveiled System Center Essentials in November 2005. It's expected to ship in 2007.

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