Microsoft to Release Windows Server 2008 RCO, Vista SP1 Beta

Microsoft will make the first release candidate for Windows Server 2008 and the first beta for Windows Vista Service Pack 1 available within the next 24 hours, the software maker announced today. Windows Server 2008 is intended to bring new technologies like server and presentation virtualization capabilities, IIS 7, Server Core, PowerShell, Network Access Protection, Server Manager, and enhanced networking and clustering technologies; it has been touted as the most "integrated" Windows to date.

Along with Windows Server 2008, MS will also be releasing the first beta of Vista SP1 to a select group of 12,000 testers. The current plan is to release Vista SP1 to manufacturing in the first quarter of 2008. The beta focuses on specific reliability and performance issues, supporting new types of hardware, and adding support for several emerging standards. Vista SP1 will be very different from Windows XP SP2, which was all about security and broke a large number of applications, including some of Microsoft's own, as it involved trade-offs around application compatibility and the user experience, David Zipkin, senior product manager for Windows Client, told eWEEK Aug. 28. "That is not our intent with Vista SP1, which we are designing to limit user interface changes as much as possible. Those UI changes that we do make will be quite small and will not require retraining or anything like that," he said.

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