Microsoft's next major version of Windows, Longhorn, will be a client OS only, Microsoft's objective being not to trouble its customers with a major server OS upgrade so soon after .NET Server 2003 ships. But from what Microsoft senior vp for Windows Brian Valentine was saying at Microsoft IT Forum in Copenhagen this week, Longhorn the client is going to be sufficiently radical for companies to have to make major changes in their server OS anyway.
Valentine confirmed that Longhorn would be client only, and said it would be due no sooner than mid- to late 2004. But the new file system for Longhorn will require major server side changes, delivered as a service pack or some kind of add-on pack. According to The Register's eye-witness he said Longhorn used a genuine new store, rather than a "lashup of .NET frame work 'children of OLE-DB' strung together."
Effectively, although Microsoft isn't planning a server upgrade synced with Longhorn, it will be issuing an upgrade of sorts as a kind of monster service pack from hell when Longhorn ships, this to be followed by a further major server release in the Blackcomb timeframe.
So people who don't have any compelling need to switch over to .NET Server might well take the view that life will be a lot easier if they just stick with Windows 2000 until Longhorn ships, then install the lot in one go. Under the circumstances, the service/add-on pack plus .NET Server combo should surely be called .NOT Longhorn Server... ®