Microsoft revealed today that it will not release Windows Server 2008, the successor to Windows Server 2003, on time. In a posting to the company's TechNet site, a Microsoft spokesman confessed that "Windows Server 2008, which we have been saying would Release to Manufacturing (RTM) by the end of the calendar year, is now slated to RTM in the first quarter of calendar year 2008." The blogger quoted Program Manager Alex Hinrichs as saying, "It just needs a little more time to bake."
The delay cannot come as much of a surprise to customers and partners, who have watched the Redmond, Wash., giant stumble out of the gate with new product introductions, most recently Vista. However, the delay also affects Microsoft's Viridian hypervisor, which Microsoft previously said would ship 180 days after Windows Server 2008. This delay further pushes the introduction of this crucial piece of technology until the end of 2008 or even 2009, noted John Abbott, an analyst with the 451Group, based in London. Hypervisor virtualization technology within Windows Server 2008 will give Microsoft a big advantage—when it arrives. "If this is embedded in the core infrastructure, it would be harder for a competitor like VMware to get in there," said Abbott. However, according to the analyst, this delay gives VMware, based in Palo Alto, Calif., "another six months to consolidate its already huge market lead" in the virtualization space.