Microsoft has laid out its road map for its Windows Server 2008 operating system, including versions for small and medium sized businesses and a target date for the first update.
Bill Laing, general manager of the Windows server division, reiterated that Windows Server 2008, formerly called Longhorn, and Windows Home Server would ship this year. In 2008, Microsoft will ship Centro, the code name for a server for SMEs; Cougar, the next version of Small Business Server; and the next version of Windows Storage Server. All of those servers will be based on Windows Server 2008.
In 2009, Windows Server 2008 R2 will be released in 64-bit only and the era of 32-bit Windows servers will be over.
The R2 version of the server is part of an interim release cycle Microsoft established in May 2004 that called for a major operating system upgrade every four years with a lesser "R2" release in between.
Laing also ignored changes in the feature set for Windows Virtualisation Server (WVS) that Microsoft made last week, although he did say virtualisation is a core part of Windows Server 2008.
Last week, Microsoft axed from WVS the Live Migration feature, which lets users move workloads between virtualised servers without any downtime.
Critics of Microsoft's current Virtual Server software often cite its lack of live migration capabilities as one reason it is not ready to support performance-sensitive or critical applications.
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