It's official: Windows Server 2008 (WS08) will be launched on February 27, 2008, along with new versions of Visual Studio and SQL Server. Microsoft's flagship server operating system will probably be Bill Gates' last product launch before he retires later in 2008. Is Bill Gates going out with a bang? We examined the Windows Server 2008 Beta Community Technology Preview (CTP), which was released in June, 2007, to see what it promises for the upcoming OS.
Some concluding observations
Though WS08 comes in both x86 (32-bit) and x64 (64-bit) editions (an IA64 edition will also be available), this will be the last time Microsoft releases a 32-bit edition of its server OS. WS08 Release 2, which is expected to ship in 2009, will no longer include a 32 bit version.
There is no doubt that WS08 heralds a new age in Windows computing: One that will see massive moves to dynamic datacenters as everyone virtualizes their Windows service offerings. One that will see the end of 32-bit computing. One that will see the introduction of a "non-Windows" Windows through Server Core. And one that will fully support server consolidation and the elimination of server proliferation.
Note: Bill Gates is not leaving Microsoft, although he will no longer be the person leading events such as major product launches, apparently after the combined Windows/Visual Studio/SQL Server 2008 launch next February. Gates has clearly stated that he is switching -- from full-time Microsoft and part-time Foundation to part-time Microsoft and full-time Foundation.