On June 26, Microsoft pushed out a new Community Technology Preview (CTP) test build of Windows Server 2008.
The build is not for any and all testers; it is for a smaller select set of technical beta participants, according to a post on the Windows Server team blog. The new build is the first Microsoft has provided to testers since it delivered Windows Server 2008 Beta 3 two months ago. (More than 200,000 testers have downloaded Beta 3, the Softies say.)
What's new in the new CTP? From the Server team blog:
"So what's new in this CTP? Well, consider that Beta 3 was technically our "feature complete" milestone, so you shouldn't expect to see much in the way of major changes from here on in. However, one major update that is present in this release is the ability to run the Web Server role (a.k.a. IIS 7.0) on a Server Core installation. This was a huge request from customers and we didn't think we'd make it, but we managed to squeeze it in, so you should check out how that works. The main focus of this release was to fix some bugs and improve overall quality and performance over Beta 3, but obviously, you also will see some minor UI changes and tweaks."
(Microsoft announced in June that IIS 7.0 would be one of the Server Core roles selectable by admins when configuring Windows Server 2008.)
Activewin.com has posted a copy of the letter about the latest Windows Server CTP that Microsoft sent to testers this week.
It sounds like Microsoft still believes it will release Windows Server 2008 to manufacturing before the end of 2007. The official launch is going to be in early 2008.
Update: Just a reminder for those interested in running IIS 7.0 as a core role: Given that Windows Server 2008 Core doesn't support managed code, IIS does not support ASP.NET when used on Server Core.