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Windows Server 2008 Available for Evaluation

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Microsoft has launched Windows Server 2008, and there are 8 editions to choose from. The Standard, Enterprise and Datacenter editions each come in two flavors, with or without the Hyper-V virtualization capability, then there is the Web Server, and the Windows Server for Itanium-based systems. An editions comparison chart can be seen here. Hyper-V is a virtualization technology which allows the consolidation of multiple server roles as virtual machines running on the same physical machine. It even allows running multiple operating systems (Windows, Linux, etc.) in parallel on the same machine.

Remote users can directly access an application hosted on Windows Server 2008 through Terminal Services RemoteApp without having to open the entire system desktop in a Terminal Session. Such an application runs on the server and only the application window is sent to the remote user, reducing the client side resources needs, the administration and deployment costs. Access to remote applications is realized via HTTPS without the need to set up VPN or open additional firewall ports.

Windows Server 2008 comes with Internet Information Services 7.0 (IIS 7.0). IIS 7.0 can be used to develop and host web services and applications. The server comes together with .NET Framework 3.0, and is integrated with ASP.NET, Windows Communication Foundation Web services, and Windows SharePoint Services. It includes Fast CGI support to reliably run PHP apps, Perl scripts, and Ruby applications.

Windows Server 2008 includes Subsystem for UNIX-based Applications (SUA), a multi-user UNIX environment that supports more than 300 UNIX commands, utilities, and shell scripts. Users can maintain one user name and password for Windows domains and UNIX systems. SUA runs on Windows-based servers without any emulation, providing for native UNIX performance and enabling UNIX applications to leverage Windows APIs and components.

Windows Server 2008 is available for evaluation and will be made available for purchasing later this year. The product can be evaluated for 60 days with the option of resetting twice the evaluation process extending the period to 180 days. The pricing and licensing information can be accessed here. Microsoft affirms that the pricing is very similar to that of Windows Server 2003 R2. This page contains the Microsoft applications compatible with Windows Server 2008, along with those that will be made compatible soon and the incompatible ones. The product roadmap is available here.

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