Microsoft has released a Technical Refresh of the Service Pack 2 beta for Windows 2003/2003 R2. The following was posted on Connect.
"Windows Serviceability is pleased to announce the release of Beta Refresh 1 (build 2786) of Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 for Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP Professional x64 Edition customers.
This build contains:
- Roll up of hotfixes released to date
- Roll up of security updates released to date
- Fixes for bugs reported by Beta customers and other known issues on previous Service Pack 2 builds
This build should be used for full deployment purposes, including pre-production testing or general compatibility testing. We will review all reported issues in the Release Candidate build. In order to have a stable test environment we strongly recommend un-installation of any previous SP2 builds from your machines before installing build 2786. If you previously installed an integrated build of SP2, you cannot upgrade your system to build 2786 with this refresh; you will need to re-install a released version (RTM, SP1, or R2) of Windows Server 2003 before upgrading to build 2786. Go to https://connect.microsoft.com/content/content.aspx?SiteID=98&ContentID=1799 to find an evaluation copy of Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1.
Release notes for this build can be found at https://connect.microsoft.com/content/content.aspx?ContentID=3342&SiteID=98.
Here is the list of releases; note that there are no integrated releases with this build:
32-bit x86 standalone update: English, German and Japanese
x64 standalone update: English and Japanese
Itanium standalone update: English, German and Japanese
Checked update for English only (debug version)
We encourage you to continue WS03 SP2 Beta testing with this build and provide feedback".
The feature in this Serivce Pack I’m most interested is Windows Deployment Services. An image based system, WDS is a replacement for RIS and will be one of the deployment mechanisms for Windows Vista. Any organisation facing a potential deployment of Vista should review this new solution.