I reported on Microsoft's project "Bear Paw" in my blog last month, after Eric Rudder, Microsoft SVP for Servers and Tools (view his blog) gave a speech in which he indicated that the next update to Terminal Server was due out as a Windows add-on before Microsoft's FY04 ends in June 2004.
It now appears that Rudder was not supposed to say anything about Bear Paw, and Microsoft has since made it very clear that at this time, Bear Paw's features are not confirmed.
Shortly after Rudder's speech, a lot of people tried to get more details about Bear Paw from Microsoft. According to an posting to a web forum by Joel Stocker, a systems engineer for Citrix, internal communication took place between Citrix and Microsoft that further clarified things. Chandra Shekaran, (Terminal Services Group Manager at Microsoft), told Citrix that Eric Rudder's reference to Bear Paw in his speech was premature, and he was not supposed to mention it. Furthermore, he reports that Rudder's boss (Bill Veghte) has spoken to him about it and that at this point, nothing is finalized with regard to features or release dates.
Stocker also wrote that Shekaran confirmed to them that Bear Paw will NOT be released on its own. Shekaran specifically mentioned that it could be part of Windows 2003 Service Pack 2, or it could be part of Longhorn server, but nothing has been decided. (This represents a reversal of what Rudder said.)
So, at this point, Microsoft is publicly backing off their Bear Paw comments and only confirming that Bear Paw is the codename for the next release of Terminal Server. Features and dates are undefined.
Note: This entry was originally posted on Sunday, September 6, 2003 at 4:32 PM. The references to Joel Stocker and the internal Citrix communication were originally attributed to Steven Bink of www.bink.nu. This happened due to a technical error on Bink's website that caused the "source" of his report to look like it was from him instead of from the Log*in forum. Bink called me and informed me of the error on his site, and I updated this article. The content of my original article remains the same. It's just that what was originally attributed to Steven Bink should have been attributed to Stocker.