Overview of Windows Server 2003 – Standard Edition

Designed for small organizations and departmental use, Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition, delivers intelligent file and printer sharing, secure Internet connectivity, centralized desktop policy management, and Web solutions that connect employees, partners, and customers. Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition, provides high levels of dependability, scalability, and security.

In This Edition

Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition, takes the best of Windows 2000 Server technology and makes it easier to deploy, manage, and use. The result is a highly productive operating system that is secure, reliable, highly available, and scalable.
At a high level, Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition, provides support for:

  • Advanced networking features such as Internet Authentication Service (IAS), the Network Bridge feature, and Internet Connection Sharing (ICS).
  • Four-way symmetric multiprocessing (SMP).
  • 4 gigabytes (GB) of RAM.

Customers seeking the highest availability and scalability should consider Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition, or Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition.

Built for Dependability

Run Your Business on the Most Solid Server Operating System Microsoft Has Ever Released Today’s organizations expect technology to be a consistent enabler of business value. They want systems that are always up and always responsive, and they demand a level of security able to meet today’s challenges. Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition, includes new features and improvements that make it the most dependable small business and departmental server operating system Microsoft has ever created.
Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition, improves on many technologies introduced in Windows 2000 Server, such as support for smart cards, bandwidth throttling, and Plug and Play support. New technologies, such as the common language runtime, strengthen security to help safeguard networks from malicious or poorly designed code. In addition, improvements to Internet Information Services (IIS) 6.0, public key infrastructure (PKI), and Kerberos make it easier to secure Windows Server 2003.
The Active Directory® service is now faster and more robust over unreliable wide area network (WAN) connections, thanks to more efficient synchronization, replication, and credential caching in branch office domain controllers.
Key Dependability Features Here are some of the key features responsible for the increased dependability of Windows Server 2003:

  • XML Web services.  IIS 6.0 security settings are enforced during setup by default to ensure that only required services are running. This change from earlier versions significantly reduces initial security risks. Using the IIS Security Lockdown wizard, server functionality is enabled or disabled based on the administrator’s requirements.
  • Directory services.  Active Directory security settings for users and network resources span from the core to the edge of the network, helping you make a secure end-to-end network a reality.
  • Update management.  The Auto Update feature provides the ability to systematically download critical operating system updates, such as security fixes and security patches. Administrators select when to install these critical operating system updates.
  • Internet firewall.  Connecting to the Internet is more secure with the built-in Internet Connection Firewall. The integration of an Internet Firewall in the operating system also reduces capital costs necessary to connect to the Internet.
  • Remote access.  Dial-up users can be quarantined via administrator policy. They can be prevented from accessing the network until their system is verified to have administrator-specified software, such as virus detection updates.
  • Server hardware support.  Driver verifiers check new device drivers to help keep the server up and running.
  • Application verification.  Applications running on Windows Server 2003 can be tested and verified using the Application Verifier tool, which detects subtle discrepancies, such as software heap corruptions and compatibility issues.
  • File services.  Windows Server 2003 performance has increased considerably since Microsoft Windows NT® Server 4.0 and Windows 2000 Server.
  • Assisted support.  Microsoft incident submission and management allows users to submit electronic support incidents to Microsoft, collaborate with support engineers, and manage submitted incidents from Windows Server 2003.
  • Server event tracking.  Administrators can create accurate reports of uptime using the new server shutdown tracker, which records Windows events for server shutdowns in a log file.

Built for Productivity

Improve Employee Communication and Collaboration Across Your Business Organizations look to computing technology to improve productivity across their businesses—not just for system administrators, who want flexible services that are quicker to deploy and easier to manage, but also for employees, who need powerful tools that are easier to use.
Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition, and other members of the Windows Server 2003 family share many features that help make your organization and employees more productive. Windows Server 2003 enables greater productivity for both administrators and users through enhanced capabilities in system management and storage.
Microsoft has made great strides in evolving manageability. The new, task-based design in Windows Server 2003 makes it easier to find and carry out common tasks. Improvements to the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) and Active Directory boost performance and make management easier.
In addition, the Windows Server 2003 family contains several important new automated management tools including Microsoft Software Update Services (SUS) and server configuration wizards to help automate deployment. Managing Group Policy is made easier with the new Group Policy Management Console (GPMC), enabling more organizations to better use Active Directory and take advantage of its powerful management features. Further, command-line tools let administrators perform most tasks from the command console, should they prefer that method.
New and improved file and print services in Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition, also make storage and backup easier while significantly reducing the demands on system administrators. For example, the Volume Copy Shadow Service provides point-in-time backups of networked shares. This unique technology extends to users who can now retrieve old copies of files or deleted files right from their Windows desktop. In addition, file and print services are improved with the addition of the Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning (WebDAV) remote document sharing technology. Enhancements to the Distributed File System (DFS) and Encrypting File System (EFS) allow for powerful, flexible file sharing and storage as well.
Key Productivity Features Here are some of the key features that enhance productivity:

  • Manage Your Server Wizard.  Administrators can use the straightforward interface of this wizard for setup and ongoing management of a server. The wizard makes it easy to perform such common tasks as adding new users and creating file shares.
  • Configure Your Server Wizard.  The easy-to-use Configure Your Server Wizard steps administrators through the process of setting up various server roles, such as a file server, print server, remote access server, and other roles, and helps ensure that components are installed and configured correctly the first time.
  • Remote server administration.  With Remote Desktop for Administration (formerly known as Terminal Services in Remote Administration mode), administrators can manage a computer from virtually any other computer on the network. Remote Desktop for Administration is specifically designed for server management.
  • Remote assistance.  Administrators can use Remote Assistance to control a remote desktop computer. If administrators or helpdesk staff are invited by a remote user, they can use Remote Assistance to connect to a remote computer from a computer running Windows XP or any edition of Windows Server 2003. After connecting to the remote computer, the person giving assistance can view the remote computer’s screen and chat in real time with the system user. If the person requesting assistance allows it, the assisting person can even control the remote computer’s mouse and keyboard.
  • Shadow Copy of Shared Folders.  This feature provides consistent, point-in-time versions for network shares. Administrators can view network folder contents as they existed at one time. End users can recover accidentally deleted files or folders on network shares without requiring system administrator intervention.
  • Terminal Server.  When using Terminal Server, a user can access programs running on the server from a variety of devices. For example, a user can access a virtual Windows XP Professional desktop and x86-based applications for Windows from hardware that cannot run the software locally. Terminal Server provides this capability for client devices that run Windows as well as those that do not.

Built for a Connected World

Securely Connect with Your Customers Today’s networks are connecting intranets, extranets, and the Web. More and more companies are using the Internet to communicate with their customers and partners everyday. Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition, and other members of the Windows Server 2003 family share many features that help your organization and employees stay connected.

Networking improvements and new features in the Windows Server 2003 family extend the versatility, manageability, and dependability of network infrastructures. Windows Server 2003 makes it easier than ever for users to stay connected to their centralized systems from anywhere and on any device. Microsoft has built significant networking enhancements in Windows Server 2003, including Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6), Point-to-Point Protocol over Ethernet (PPoE), and Internet Protocol Security (IPSec) over network address translation (NAT).
Perhaps most important, though, is the optimized, native support of Microsoft .NET and XML. Windows Server 2003 represents a revolutionary step forward as the ideal platform to develop, distribute, and host XML Web services created with .NET.
Key Features for Connecting Here are some of the key features for connecting people, partners, systems, and customers:

  • IIS 6.0.  IIS 6.0 is a Web service in Windows Server 2003 that makes it easier to share information among partners, customers, and employees over an intranet, the Internet, or via an extranet. IIS 6.0 provides an updated architecture that meets the most demanding needs in the areas of dependability, versatility, and manageability.
  • Web application server role.  Windows Server 2003 is also a full Web application server. It integrates the .NET Framework with core server resources to help users develop, deploy, and manage applications and XML Web services. The .NET Framework provides a fully managed, protected, and feature-rich application execution environment, simplified development and deployment, and seamless integration with a wide variety of programming languages. Windows Server 2003 is built on industry standards that allow customers to extend existing applications and quickly develop new ones. Developers can build directly on the application server, using XML Web services and managed code, and then run these applications on any Web application platform. This level of easy application development encourages internal and external business process innovation and increases business opportunities.
  • Microsoft Windows Media® Services.  Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition, includes Windows Media Services for distributing streaming audio and video over corporate intranets and the Internet.
  • Wireless LAN support.  This feature provides security and performance improvements for wireless local area networks (LANs), such as automatic key management, user authentication, and authorization prior to LAN access. Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition, makes it much easier to use and deploy wireless services.

Built for Best Economics

Maximize Business Value by Leveraging the Largest Partner Solution Ecosystem PC technology provides the most cost-effective chip platform, a considerable economic incentive for adopting Windows Server 2003. But that is only the beginning of the story. Windows Server 2003 is a cost-efficient choice for both scale-up or scale-out purposes. With multiple essential services and components already included in Windows Server 2003, organizations can quickly benefit from an integrated platform that is easy to deploy, manage, and use.
When you adopt Windows Server 2003, you become a part of the global network that has helped make the Windows platform so productive.
This network of global services and support provides the following benefits:

  • Extensive ISV ecosystem.  Microsoft software has a huge number of independent software vendors (ISVs) worldwide who support Microsoft applications and build certified custom applications on the Windows platform.
  • Worldwide services.  Microsoft is supported by over 450,000 Microsoft Certified Systems Engineers (MCSEs) worldwide, plus vendors and partners.
  • Training options.  Microsoft offers a wide range of IT training, enabling IT staff to continue developing their skills at a reasonable price.
  • Certified solutions.  Windows has thousands of certified hardware drivers and software applications from third-party ISVs, making it easy to add new devices and applications. In addition, prescriptive guidance from Microsoft Solutions Offerings (MSOs) helps organizations build proven solutions that help solve difficult business challenges.

This ecosystem of products and services reduces total cost of ownership (TCO), helping your organization be more productive and efficient.

XML Web Services and .NET

Microsoft .NET is deeply integrated into the Windows Server 2003 family. It enables an unprecedented level of software integration using XML Web services, those discrete, building-block applications that connect to each other—as well as to other, larger applications—via the Internet.
Integral to the Microsoft platform, the .NET Framework provides the ability to build, host, deploy, and use secure and connected solutions quickly and reliably through XML Web services. The Microsoft platform provides a suite of developer tools, client applications, XML Web services, and servers necessary to participate in this connected world.
These XML Web services provide reusable components built on industry standards that invoke capabilities from other applications independent of the way the applications were built, their operating system or platform, or the devices used to access them.
With XML Web services, developers can integrate applications inside enterprises and across network boundaries with partners and customers. This advance in computing—opening the door to federated collaboration and more efficient business-to-business and business-to-consumer services—can have a significant potential impact on revenue. Millions of others can use these components in varied combinations to produce highly personal, intelligent computing experiences.
Other .NET benefits in the Windows Server 2003 family help application developers to:

  • Leverage their existing investments. Existing Windows–based applications continue to run on Windows Server 2003 and can be easily repackaged as XML Web services.
  • Write less code and use the programming languages and tools they know. This is made possible by the application services built into Windows Server 2003, such as Microsoft ASP.NET, transaction monitoring, message queuing, and data access.
  • Use process monitoring, recycling, and built-in instrumentation to provide reliability, availability, and scalability for their applications.

All of these benefits are in the improved Windows Server 2003 application platform.


Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition, provides a comprehensive server platform that is easy to deploy, manage, and use—and helps businesses to lower TCO. Thanks in part to the support of many Microsoft third-party hardware and software partners, Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition, helps organizations achieve the greatest return on their server investments.


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