Microsoft will finally post a beta of Internet Information Server (IIS) 4.0 (code-named K2) to its Web site later this week, according to Tanya van Dam, an IIS product manger at Microsoft. Microsoft had originally planned to release the beta a week ago, but a security bug was discovered in the current version of IIS that also affects K2.

IIS 4.0 includes several attractive new features that should make it a huge hit. While earlier versions of IIS could support multiple IP addresses and Web sites, it was difficult to configure. IIS 4.0 will make it much easier to host multiple sites on the same server. A crash protection feature allows on server application to crash without bringing down the whole server. An integrated version of Transaction Server allows the machine to better handle multiple hits. IIS 4.0 also supports digital IDs and certificates for end-users. Microsoft Management Console is integrated with the Web server to provide a single interface for multiple servers, such as Proxy Server and other Internet servers. IIS 4.0 is also fully compliant with the HTTP 1.1 specification.

Microsoft's van Dam mentioned that the company has no plans to port IIS to UNIX. The final release version of IIS 4.0 is due this fall