Apple previewed the next iteration of Mac OS X Server at WWDC.

Mac OS X Server 10.4 Tiger, due in early 2005, offers Mac, Windows and Linux clients native support for 64-bit applications for the first time.

Tiger Server will deliver 200 new features, including servers for Weblogs and iChat – to deploy private, encrypted communications within an organization.

Tiger Server offers tools to make migrating from Windows-based servers easier. According to Apple, administrators can now migrate user and group account-information from an existing Windows Primary Domain Controller automatically into Open Directory. Tiger Server then takes over as the primary domain controller for Windows clients, and even host Windows users’ home directories, group folders, roaming profiles and shared printers.

Other new features include: Mobile Home Directories; a Software Update Server that lets system administrators host proxy/cache server to control the availability of Apple’s software updates; Access Control Lists for a more flexible permissions model; and Internet Gateway Setup Assistant.

Xgrid 1.0 – Apple’s clustering software – is also integrated. The software supports up to 128 agents, up to 10,000 queued jobs and up to 10,000 tasks per job.

Tiger Server costs £399 for a 10-client edition and £799 (inc. VAT) for an unlimited-client edition.