Microsoft said on Monday in the US that the server version of Windows 7 would not be a major release and will bear the name Windows Server 2008 R2. In the past, Microsoft has used R2 monikers to signify a product with a few new features, as opposed to major changes to a product. Microsoft declined to discuss what will be in Windows Server 2008 R2, but a spokesman confirmed that it is the server version of Windows 7. The release was due sometime in 2010, Microsoft said.
The server move calls into question just how different Windows 7 is going to be from Windows Vista on the desktop side. Steven Sinofsky, the head of development for the desktop version of Windows, has said that Windows 7 on the PC side would not make major changes to things like the kernel and driver model, but has maintained that it would be a major release of Windows.
Microsoft has said that the desktop version of Windows 7 would include a new multitouch interface, but has not talked about other features. The software maker confirmed its naming plans, following a report by ZDNet.com blogger Mary Jo Foley. Initially Foley reported that Microsoft was skipping its minor R2 release and moving straight to its next major release. However, Microsoft clarified that it indeed saw Windows 7 on the server side as a minor release.