With last night's release of a new pre-Beta 3 build of Windows .NET Server (build 3541), Microsoft revealed that it has changed the product family's final name. Windows .NET Server, which Microsoft originally named Windows Server 2002, will ship in a variety of editions, including a Server Edition and an Advanced Server Edition. The company renamed these products, however, to Standard Server and Enterprise Server, respectively.

"Sites \[that\] have successfully downloaded \[the previous interim Server build\] have been selected to receive a refresh of that build," Microsoft Program Manager Paul Donnelly told testers. "This is an interim build of Microsoft Windows.NET, build 3541. \[It\] is not Beta 3 of .NET Server."

Microsoft code-named the .NET Server product--as it did Windows XP--Whistler, but the two products were on different development paths, with the server releases planned for early 2002, rather than XP's October 2001 release date. When it's released, the Windows .NET Server product family--which includes 32-bit and 64-bit products in various editions--will succeed the Windows 2000 Server products. Details about new features are still sketchy at this point, but I expect the release to be a minor upgrade.