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Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer during his keynote for Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and Visual Studio 2008  (Source: Microsoft)
Microsoft launches Windows Server 2008, Visual Studio 2008 and SQL Server 2008

Yesterday, Microsoft kicked off what it calls one of the most important launches in IT history. The company launched Windows Server 2008, Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 and Microsoft SQL Server 2008.

Microsoft is positioning its latest enterprise product rollout as savior to IT professionals worldwide. Microsoft claims that its new products will "help customers optimize their people, processes and technology" and "position IT as a strategic asset".

"IT professionals and developers tell us they spend too much time and money managing existing systems and not enough investing in new capabilities that create strategic advantage," said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said. "That feedback is at the core of the innovations in this new wave of products. Already, the overwhelming response from thousands of IT professionals and developers around the world is that this is the most secure enterprise platform we have ever delivered, and that it will simplify management and enable them to focus more on driving their businesses forward."

Windows Server 2008 is available in a number of versions ranging from $999 for Windows Server 2008 Standard (five Client Access Licenses, or CALs) to $3,999 for Windows Server 2008 Enterprise (25 CALs). All version of Windows Server 2008 -- with the notable exception of Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-based Systems -- is available in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions.

Microsoft's Hyper-V virtualization server technology -- also available as the standalone Hyper-V Server -- is available for $28 on copies of Windows 2008 Standard, Enterprise and Datacenter. Other features new to Windows Server 2008 include Internet Information Services (IIS) 7.0, Terminal Services RemoteApp (TS RemoteApp), a new TCP/IP stack, Network Access Protection, Read-Only Domain Controller and the new Server Core installation option.

With Windows Server 2008 taking center stage, Microsoft placed less emphasis on the launch of Visual Studio 2008 and SQL Server 2008. Microsoft hopes to allow users to leverage the capabilities of Windows Vista and the 2007 Office system with Visual Studio 2008.

Microsoft says that it advances made to the latest iteration of Visual Studio over previous versions include 1) Rapid application development, 2) Effective team collaboration, and 3) Break through user experiences. Microsoft's .NET Framework 3.5 plays a pivotal role in application development with Visual Studio 2008.

Finally, Microsoft is showing off its SQL Server 2008 product. Although Microsoft "launched" the product yesterday, it won't actually be rolled out to customers until the Q3 2008. In the mean time, customers can play around with a feature-complete, February community technology preview of SQL Server 2008.

"If I think back 20 years ago, Microsoft was just embarking on this mission to really be an enterprise computing player. We were learning about the needs of IT, and here we sit 20 years later, I think we're at the forefront for many of you with what you're doing," said Ballmer in his "Heroes Happen Here" keynote on the 2008 product launch.

"We're trying very hard to make sure we have technology that allow all of us, developers, and IT professionals to be heroes, and hopefully with the launch of these three new products all of you will agree that with this as a foundation, you are heroes."



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Cool
By TheNuts on 2/28/2008 12:43:29 PM , Rating: 2
I am attending it on March 6th here.

We are able to have access to all the versions or Server, SQL, etc with our Enterprise EA. I am anxious to play with Hyper-V as we are looking for a cost effective virtualization platform. I like VMware but don't like the $$ for licensing since we already pay for the EA




RE: Cool
By Spivonious on 2/28/2008 12:51:45 PM , Rating: 2
Hey me too! I wonder if Ballmer is traveling around to all of the launch events or if it was just the first.


RE: Cool
By F3R4L on 2/28/2008 1:43:23 PM , Rating: 2
Just the first for the kickoff...


RE: Cool
By PitViper007 on 2/28/2008 1:41:22 PM , Rating: 2
I'm going to the March 25th launch event. I too am looking forward to being able to see what Server 2008 is capable of. I'm hoping it's a good leap up from 2003.


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