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Features for collaboration

Updated: January 21, 2005

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Features for collaboration

This topic contains a brief overview of the collaboration features, including multimedia support, in the Windows Server 2003 family. It is divided into two sections: New and updated features since Windows NT 4.0 and New and updated features since Windows 2000.

For links to more information about the features in this release, see New Features.

The Windows Server 2003 family improves employee communication and collaboration with team collaboration tools, as well as secure real-time communications, mobile data, and streaming media on a wide range of connected devices. Because servers are continuously available, employees can access information anywhere, anytime, and on any device, improving productivity across your organization.

New and updated features since Windows NT 4.0

The Windows Server 2003 family offers the following improvements (in comparison to Windows NT 4.0) that help provide increased levels of support for collaboration:

Windows Media Services
Windows Media Services provides support for the distribution of streaming audio and video over corporate intranets and the Internet. In Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition and Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition, Windows Media Services delivers advanced streaming functionality, such as multicasting, wireless network support, internet authentication, server plug-ins, and Cache/Proxy APIs.

The core components of Windows Media Services were developed using Component Object Model (COM), creating a flexible architecture that is easily customized for specific applications. Many features are implemented through the use of plug-ins. With this platform, developers can easily extend Windows Media Services functionality and integrate with existing systems and solutions, such as storage systems, billing applications, and logging applications.

Windows Media Services is not included with Windows Server 2003, Web Edition or the Itanium-based versions of the Windows Server 2003 family.

Predictable, end-to-end Quality of Service
Quality of Service (QoS)-based services and protocols provide a guaranteed, end-to-end, express delivery system for traffic that is generated by QoS-enabled programs across a network or across multiple disparate networks. For more information, see Quality of Service (QoS).

Asynchronous transfer mode
Asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) is a high-speed, connection-oriented protocol designed to transport multiple types of traffic across a network. It is applicable to both local area networks (LANs) and wide area networks (WANs). Using ATM, your network can simultaneously transport a wide variety of network traffic: voice, data, image, and video.

New and updated features since Windows 2000

The Windows Server 2003 family offers the following improvements (in comparison to Windows 2000) that help provide increased levels of support for collaboration:

Microsoft .NET Framework
Microsoft .NET Framework provides the most comprehensive and powerful means to build, deploy, and manage XML Web services. XML Web services allow applications to communicate and share data over the Internet, regardless of operating system or programming language. The Windows Server 2003 family is the foundation of the Microsoft .NET vision, delivering an unprecedented .NET computing foundation to organizations of all sizes. For more information, see Microsoft .NET Framework.

Audio Acceleration on the remote access server
The Audio Acceleration feature prioritizes multimedia traffic over other data streams, which provides better performance, especially for lower-speed networks. Audio Acceleration on the remote access server ensures the quality of streaming audio and video communication.

NetMeeting enhancements
You can use NetMeeting to communicate with another person by using Microsoft Exchange multicast conferencing, which allows you to communicate and collaborate in real time over intranets and the Internet. NetMeeting also offers a platform for real-time communication, so that software vendors can integrate Internet conferencing into their applications and services. For more information, see Using NetMeeting.

This feature is not available on the Itanium-based versions of the Windows operating systems.

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