Microsoft launches 2008 server lineup

February 28, 2008 // 1:19 p.m.

Tags: #2008 #microsoft #server #sql-server #visual-studio #windows #windows-server

Yesterday saw Microsoft launch their next-generation server products at an event in Los Angeles, and there's some all-too-predictable 'features' they wanted to talk about.

The products officially launched at the event are Windows Server 2008 – a replacement for the current Windows Server 2003 R2 – along with SQL Server 2008 and Visual Studio 2008 for all the application developers out there. Windows Server and Visual Studio are available real-soon-now, but SQL Server – despite being a large part of the event – won't actually be ready until the second half of this year.

Obviously, Microsoft are keen to get people interested in Vista – businesses especially. As a result, one of the main 'features' of this latest release of the Windows Server product the company is pushing is its Vista compliance. Those who like their servers to require less than eight gigs of RAM will be displeased to hear Bob Muglia, senior vice president of the Server and Tools Business side of Microsoft, explain that the company is “building the products off the same code base” as Windows Vista. Muglia tried to make this sound a helpful thing to do by saying “[the] real benefit of this for customers is that it makes it simpler for us to maintain and drive the systems forward as we learn about security issues.

No, Bob: making it easier to do your job is good for you, not your customers.

That said, there are some rather nice changes to the default security model for Windows Server that shows Microsoft might actually be learning from their competitors for a change: Muglia describes an “enormous amount of work” that has gone into improved security, with a default-off approach to background services ensuring that ports are only ever opened as “roles are installed on a machine.”

Anyone who has noticed a certain amount of flakiness in Microsoft services recently may want to avoid the launch version of Windows Server: Muglia explains that “Microsoft.com is running entirely on Windows Server 2008 right now,” a worrying admission in times when many Microsoft services are suffering outages. Still, perhaps that's a coincidence.

The event was rather low on hard details about any of the products, although Microsoft has managed to take the time to offer some information on its website about each of the three products.

Do you know of anywhere planning to migrate to any of Microsoft's new server products, or do you predict as slow an uptake for Windows Server as has happened to the desktop OS on which it's based? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

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