WIndows 2003 Server, anywhere access
It’s TechED Europe this week and Microsoft have announced more details of the next release of Windows 2003 Server. The area of most interest to me is, “anywhere access”, which Neowin reports on. Anywhere access enables users to use terminal services over port 80 (HTTPs/RPC), Outlook over port 80 (HTTPs/RPC) and also file shares from within corporate LANs over port 80 (HTTPs/RPC).
These are very interesting developments, the WTS capabilities removing one more advantage that Citrix has over Microsoft. The file share access is interesting, as file share access using WebDAV is already available I can only assume that this is CIFS access tunnelled over HTTPS, this would be a big improvement over WebDAV as it would support more applications, the properties dialog and other features not available today using DAV. I thought Outlook over HTTPS was already part of Exchange 2003 server, so I am not sure why this is included in a feature list for Windows 2003 server unless its actually provided by the OS or probably IIS rather than Exchange.
These HTTP access mechanisms are useful not just in providing internet access to corporate resources but also for corporates wishing to provide controlled access on their WAN for third parties, aquisitions or businesses in the process of being disposed of.