The next major upgrade for Windows server operating system from Microsoft, with the codename “Longhorn” has been released for free public beta as beta 3. Windows Server “Longhorn”, the server equivalent version of Windows Vista, set to replace Windows Server 2003, and will named with Windows Server 2007 or Windows Server 2008 when officially released, depending on its year of release.

IT professionals and developers who wish to evaluate can now download the feature-complete Windows Server “Longhorn” beta 3. 5 evaluation editions, namely Windows Server “Longhorn” Standard Edition, Windows Server “Longhorn” Enterprise Edition, Windows Server “Longhorn” Datacenter Edition, Windows Web Server “Longhorn” and Windows Server “Longhorn” for Itanium-based Systems, and are released in English, German and Japanese language.

Windows Server “Longhorn” beta 3 evaluation can be downloaded either from Technet Beta Central or MSDN Evaluation Center (no longer available). Both download links require Windows Live ID subscription.

Note that Windows Server Beta 3 will expire on April 7, 2008. And it needs to be activated too, thus a valid product key is needed for activation (can get from download site). Without product key, the OS will only function for 30 days, just like Windows Vista.

Update: Download Windows Server 2008 RC1