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While not as sexy as the iPhone, Microsoft's newest edition of its flagship server OS is creating some buzz of its own. Although still missing some key features (namely the next version of Virtual Server,code name Viridian), Windows Server 2008 isreceiving a warm welcome from the administrative community and looks like it will make its most recently projected shipping date ofearly 2008. According to the Windows Server Division WebLog: HangZhou Night Net

Over 200,000 people have downloaded Beta 3 (with many, many more getting it at worldwide events or free with technical publications), and the June 2007 CTP is another step toward Release Candidate and ultimately RTM, which remains on track to hit before the end of 2007.

I am really looking forward to this release. Not only docore roles play to the strengths of my highly virtualized datacenter by reducing overhead and disk space required per virtual machine, but Viridian itself will keep the pressure on VMware to continue improving the technology behind their ESX product and to keep the price down as well. Competition is good! At the same time the improvements to Terminal Services will fill in the few things my users still miss after moving away from Citrix.

This release is a Community Technology Preview (CTP), so it's mainly available to Technet or MSDN subscribers; however, if you have a burning need, you may be able to score a copy from your Microsoft sales representative. Keep in mind that Windows Server 2008 is supposed to be feature-complete, so the product is getting polished for the final release, not additional functionality (although you could argue that the addition of the web server role breaks this rule). If you are looking to get an idea of how 2008 works, the open beta should work for you, but if you intend to do actual testing, you probably want to tryto get your hands on the CTP release.

 

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