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.
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.