Microsoft Ships Betas of 'Centro' and 'Cougar'

While Windows Vista, Office 2007 and Exchange Server 2007 are virtually out the door, Microsoft continues its march towards updating its server products to match.

In the latest move, Microsoft last week began shipping a private beta of its upcoming 64-bit server product for midsize businesses, codenamed "Centro, " according to company statements.

The server, which is an x64-only version of Longhorn targeted at smaller enterprises will integrate together Exchange 2007, System Center Essentials, SQL Server 2005 and ISA Server.

Centro will provide IT professionals in midsize businesses with simplified, guided installation across multiple servers, using a single administration console that will provide a unified view of the network. That will include providing consolidated alerts and automated wizards. Centro, which is due out in 2008, will also provide integrated license reporting aimed at making it easier for IT professionals to track the licenses used in their organization.

Meanwhile, the company also released a limited community technology preview (CTP) of Windows Server "Cougar," which is planned to be the next major release of Small Business Server. Like Centro, Cougar is slated for release in 2008.

It will also be available in x64-only form, and will integrate Longhorn, Exchange Server 2007, Windows SharePoint Services, System Center Essentials, SQL Server and ISA Server.

About the Author

Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services,, and .NET magazines. Contact him at [email protected].