Microsoft has released a public beta of the Windows NT 4.0 Option Pack, which includes Internet Information Server 4.0 Beta 3. Windows 95 users can download the Option Pack as well to get Personal Web Server 4.0 Beta 3, its de-tuned version of IIS. The Option Pack is a suite of server tools, which includes IIS 4.0 Beta 3, Transaction Server 2.0 Beta 3,  Message Queue Server 1.0 Beta 3, Index Server 2.0 Beta 3, Certificate Server 1.0 Beta 3, and Microsoft RAS (Virtual Private Networking) Beta 3. It also includes Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 3, which is required for the install. All of these programs will be built into Windows NT 5.0 as well. The final version of the Option Pack is expected late this year.

"This will all be ultimately rolled into NT 5.0, but a lot of this functionality has to do with the overall Windows programming model so we wanted to get it to developers and have them start to integrate it and \[start\] writing stuff for it as soon as possible," said Jonathan Perera, an IIS product manager.

I've downloaded two separate versions of the Option Pack: the full version for Windows 95 (~38.5 MB) and the full version for Windows NT 4.0 Server (~90 MB). Expect a full report and review later this week.

You can download the Option Pack beta from the Microsoft Web site