I am pleased to announce that Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 was released to Manufacturing (RTM) and Web (RTW) as of today.
This release is an important servicing milestone for Windows Server customers. Service Pack 2 is by far the best Windows Server servicing release that customers will experience. It upholds the customer expectations around a small and contained Service Pack which improves the overall system reliability, stability, security and performance while having a low cost to deploy. Service Pack 2 delivers on every front.
Information on Service Pack 2 on external website: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/windowsserver/sp2.mspx.
Service Pack 2 Blog: http://blogs.technet.com/windowsserver/
Final Release Deliverables
The following deliverables will be released to Windows Server customers:
· Service Pack 2 Update package per architecture and language
· Service Pack 2 Express (x86) package for supported languages
· Service Pack 2 Slipstream media per SKU, architecture, language and channels (OEM, Retail, Volume Licensing & MSDN)
o This includes new SKUs like R2, KN etc.
· Windows Server 2003 R2 x64 Editions fully localized 9 language media (CD1 wSP2 and CD2)
o German, French, Korean, Chinese Traditional, Chinese Simplified, Spanish, Italian, Russian and, Portuguese (Brazilian)
· MUI Servicing pack for Service Pack 2 customers
· MUI release for RUS & BR customers
· OPK Tools
First Service Pack of its kind
Service Pack 2 is truly the first major servicing release to span across multiple customer segments and Windows Server releases:
· First Service Pack for Windows Server x64 customers
· First Service Pack for Windows Server 2003 R2 customers
· First Service Pack for Windows XP x64 customers
· First Service Pack to post final ISO images on external website
Full Support across all Windows Server 2003 releases
In addition to supporting the new platforms, Service Pack 2 is the first Service Pack to fully support the following released platforms:
· Windows Server 2003 RTM & Service Pack 1
· Windows Server 2003 R2
· Windows Server 2003 Compute Cluster Edition with SP1
· Windows Server 2003 RTM KN Edition
· Windows Server 2003 Storage Server Edition
· Windows Server 2003 Storage Server with Unified Storage Edition
· Windows Server 2003 Small Business Server
Value to Windows Server 2003 Customers
The key value propositions are:
· Improves overall reliability, stability, performance and security
· Roll up of all existing Hotfixes and Security Updates
· Incorporated top customer feedback received via various supportability channels
· Single package install experience across multiple Windows Server 2003 SKUs including R2
· Support for WPA2
· Support for MMC 3.0 (now it’s inbox for Windows Server 2003 RTM & SP1 users)
· Support for Scalable Networking Pack that provides TCP offloading capabilities
· Upgrade to Windows Deployment Services (from RIS) for Vista & Server ‘Longhorn’ deployments
· Improved SAP workload performance when using SQL on Windows Server 2003.
· Improved performance by reducing the filter set from ~400 to just 2 filters.
· Support for web enrollment from a Vista client to a Windows Server 2003 CA.
· Support for single launching point for common support tools
· Improved security for traffic between Extranet and internal assets protected via IPSec
· Support for a new light weight out of box XML parser (XMLLite)
· New fully localized languages for INTL customers using Windows Server 2003 x64
Customer Feedback on Product Quality
"All in all this service pack looks great considering it hasn't broken anything and it hasn't noticeably changed the way anything works. I think this is a text book definition of a service pack"
Service Pack 2 has been through rigorous customer deployment. Over the development cycle we have released 8 different builds to customers. With every build beginning with Beta release the overall feedback has been super positive.