The following are some of the milestones achieved by Microsoft in Windows server technology.
The year 1996 is particularly significant in Microsoft’s web server technology. Windows NT 4.0 was released in 1996 which introduced several advanced features like GUI based interactive services, faster printing, and administrative capabilities. It also integrated IIS 2.0 in for the first time in Microsoft server operating systems. With the improvements in internet technology, this free server was a huge achievement of Microsoft.
In the year 1997, NT Server 4.0 Enterprise was introduced. This was an updated version of NT Server 4.0 and contained a transaction server which was to perform multiple functions in parallel and then integrate those functions. This version was basically geared towards the corporate sector and large organizations.
Another major update to the server technology was introduced with the advent of Windows NT Terminal edition which has the capability of connecting to non-window based clients as well.
The year 2000 marked a historic movement in the Server Editions of Microsoft when they released Windows Server 2000. This was the best and the biggest server technology Microsoft had ever released. For the first time, it introduced features like, Active Directory Structure, Active server pages, and XML which revolutionized web application development and hosting. It had three versions: The Server, Advanced Server, Data-Centric Server.
In the year 2003, Microsoft introduced Windows Server 2003 which encapsulated the .NET framework for the first time. It improved the Active Directory Structure along with ASP with improved scalability. It had two versions; the standard enterprise version was geared to large companies and the corporate sector while the web edition was simply for web hosting purposes. A few months after the release of Windows Server 2003, Microsoft introduced the support for 64 bit systems in Windows Server 2003 for the first time in any Windows Server Edition.
Windows Server 2008 was released after five years of Windows Server 2003. Its code name was “Longhorn”. Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista share their codebase. It includes advanced security, management, networking, and administrative features of Windows Vista. It supported .NET version 3.0 and can accommodate windows workflow foundation, windows communication foundation, and windows presentation foundation.
Windows Server 2008 R2 was released in the year 2009. Microsoft announced the server equivalent of Windows 7 and at Professional Developer’s Conference in the year 2008. R2 contains all the advanced features tantamount to the desktop Windows 7 edition.
Windows Server 2012 was introduced in September 2012. The focus of this version was to improve existing management, security, and administrative tasks of the window server along with providing a Server-based equivalent version of Windows 8. It has improved installation options and flexible administration. It contains improved Active Directory structure and provides excellent IP Address Management techniques.