Microsoft is promising a more predictable roadmap for its server releases through to 2008.
The company said it now plans to offer a major new server product approximately every four years, with a major release update two years on from that.
"It's what customers are asking for," Mark Tennant, Windows Server 2003 UK product manager, told vnunet.com. "It helps with the whole planning process."
But there is no guarantee that Microsoft will improve its reputation for missing planned release dates.
"These are estimates. We're a quality-driven company, so we need to take time to fix [any problems]. It is dependent on feedback from our partner testers," said Tennant.
The Windows Server schedule is as follows:
2004 (second half): Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1; 64-bit extended systems support; and a number of additional feature packs (Windows Update Services, Services for Unix 3.5, Virtual Server 2005, File Server Migration Toolkit and Server Performance Advisor).
2005: next Windows Server, codenamed 'Longhorn', beta 1; Windows Server 2003 major update, codenamed 'R2'.
2006: Longhorn beta 2; Server 2003 SP2.
2007: Longhorn release.
2008: Longhorn update and SP1.
A smartphone maker fiddling its benchmarking scores? That's unusual, isn't it?
'We are making good progress on 10nm,' claims Intel
Engineer calculates that Chengdu's plan to replace streetlights with artificial moonlight would cost $100bn
Research could also apply to other 'space weather' events involving hot, fast-moving plasma