Question:

Mr. Wang,

I have not been able to find a concrete answer for this anywhere:

I'm looking to start working with IIS 7.0 and especially Windows Activation Service. Is there a way to do this without a Longhorn Server build? Are there implementations of IIS 7.0 beta or WAS that work on previous server releases (Win 2K3, etc.)? I don't think this is the case, but it seems like you'd be a good person to give a definitive on that.

And if I'm right about needing Longhorn Server builds, do you know when there will be a public (MSDN) beta available?

Thanks a lot for your help.

Answer:

The latest that I have heard - IIS 7 will only be available with Windows Vista, all SKUs. Yes, including Home and Professional SKUs.

Yes, we heard your requirements about having the same server on Professional and Server SKUs so that your developers can accurately target the server with their workstations. Believe me, we tried several times to get IIS6 into XP Professional, but we were shot down every time by Windows management for various random reasons, none relating to your usage requirements (apparently, customer satisfaction is not the top criteria for Windows release management, but hey, what do I know...).

Our only solace is that XP Professional x64 Edition DOES have IIS6... and WOW64 32bit compatibility mode is there... so if you are thinking ahead and buying x64 machines... your best bet is to install XP Professional x64 so that your developers can natively target IIS6. Add Visual Studio x64 Edition (Express SKUs are free, including x64) and Virtual Server 2005 R2 x64 Edition ($99), and you have one cheap but powerful development platform able to target and test against all Windows Server platforms including IIS6, as well as stay abreast of Windows Vista and IIS7 developments. What more do you need?

Now, those of you at TechEd 2005 Orlando may recall seeing in the Product Pavillion a Virtual Machine of IIS7 pre-Vista Beta 1 binaries running on Windows Server 2003 SP1, but sorry, that is a pre-release demo I had to create for TechEd, and it no longer exists. Many things have subsequently developed and changed to the point that it will impossible to install, let alone run IIS7 downlevel. And we have no plans to ship IIS7 downlevel, either (for certain, there is no testing of IIS7 downlevel). Read what you will from these statements...

As for availability of the next public Windows Vista beta - I really have no more information about it than you can legally obtain. I am in the product team, so I do not care about those nebulous things called "milestone dates". I just care about what features get into what product as a ship vehicle. :-)

All I know is that Vista Beta 2 will be when you first see IIS7 in a broadly available Windows beta. I have heard of various people getting interim beta builds as a part of CTP and any deeper engagements, etc, but that is Windows-specific. I have also heard rumblings of an IIS-specific program to provide access to interim IIS7 beta builds to solicit user testing and feedback - but I have not seen anything concrete materializing. You want to ping Brett Hill and Chris Adams about this... but you can be sure that I will certainly blog about this iff/when I know it to be real.

//David