As promised last week, it's time to look at the upcoming release of NetWare 6.5 in more detail. One change to what I said, though, is that the new NOS is due to ship in June of this year rather than in the fall. This means you'll have less time to get ready for it, so be sure to download the public beta just as soon as that's available (we'll tell you when that happens, but expect it in mid-April).The goodies in 6.5 break down into three major areas, which Novell calls "Virtual Office," "Business Continuity" and "Web Services." Some of the things in these areas are brand new some are upgrades and enhancements to things you may already know, while others are being packaged with NetWare for the first time.The Virtual Office group includes these technologies and utilities:* eGuide* iFolder* iPrint* Instant Messaging* Virtual Teams* SearchVirtual Teams and Search are new and we'll examine those in more detail later. EGuide, iFolder and iPrint are enhancements of the same packages from NetWare 6.0. Instant Messaging - while no stranger to NetWare, which has allowed short messages to be exchanged for more than 15 years - is a port of the new GroupWise Instant Messaging client which brings a much richer experience than the old "25th line" messages.The Business Continuity group includes utilities and technologies that support server consolidation, branch offices, iSCSI storage networks, "snapshot" backup, patterned deployment, secure remote administration and upgrade. It also features something new called "Environment Integration" (which has nothing to do with trees, grass, water and air - except you might spend more time looking at and enjoying those things!).Finally, the Web Services group includes:* exteNd App Server* Apache Web server 2.0* MySQL database* Perl language* PHP (a server-side HTML embedded scripting language)* Remote, web-based Support & Management toolsApache's not new, but I do believe this marks the first time that the same Web server has shipped with two consecutive versions of NetWare (yay!). The other tools mean that NetWare servers, traditionally the most underutilized computers on your network (check that CPU utilization sometime) can now become almost superproductive.\u00a0The promise Novell made when it introduced the Java runtime environment on the server in NetWare 5 is finally paying off as literally thousands of applications and services are available from open source repositories that will run on your NetWare 6.5 server with little or no modification.Between now and BrainShare in April I'll tell you more about each of these areas so you can be an informed (and questioning) member of the audience when NetWare 6.5 is rolled out for you.