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."