Windows Server 2008 has yet to be released to manufacturing. But that's not stopping Microsoft execs from starting to reveal glimpses of what's in some the future server releases due out in the next year-plus.
First: We now know the codename for the next version of Windows Server that will follow Windows Server 2008. It's...Windows 7 Server. (Thanks to Bink.nu's Steven Bink for that revelation.) Until now, Softies and their slavish followers have been referring to this release as "Longhorn Server R2" or "Windows Server 2008 R2." No word yet what's in Windows 7 Server (other than the Direct Connect feature described by Bink), but if the server team sticks to its every-two-year timetable, it should be out some time in 2010.
In the nearer term, there are two Windows Server 2008 derivatives that are due to ship in 2008. Microsoft's mid-market server, code-named "Centro" -- and now officially christened "Windows Esential Business Server" -- is due in the second half of 2008. Beta 2 of Essential Business Server (which Microsoft is encouraging testers to run in production) should be out in the next 30 to 60 days, according to Russ Madlener, Director of Product Planning for Windows Server Solutions.
Essential Business Server will be a 64-bit only release and is aimed at users with between 25 to 250 PCs.
Essential Business Server will come in two editions: Standard and Premium. Standard will include Windows Server 2008, Exchange Server 2007, System Center Essentials; the next version of ISA Server and Forefront Security for Exchange. Microsoft is expecting customesr to deploy these components across three servers and buy a Client Access License (CAL) for each user or device connected to the Standard Essential BUsiness Server. The Premium SKU ads SQL Server 2008 to the mix. Customers are encouraged to deploy the Premium SKU across four servers.
Microsoft is planning to demo Essential Business Server on an Intel Modular Architecture system next week at its TechEd IT Forum in Barcelona, Madlener said. Other hardware partners, including IBM and HP, are building systems tailored for Essential BUsiness Server.
Microsoft also is readying its next version of Small Business Server, code-named "Cougar," for release in the early part of 2008. Cougar will package together Windows Server 2008, Exchange Server 2007, Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, SQL Server 2005 and System Center Essentials. Like Essential Business Server, Cougar will be 64-bit only.
In other Windows-Server-related news, the PowerShell team has made available to testers a first Community Technology Preview (CTP) build of PowerShell 2.0 (which, last I heard, was code-named "Aspen").
PowerShell is Microsoft's extensible command line interface (CLI) shell and scripting language that is built into Exchange Server 2007, Windows Server 2008 and a growing number of other Microsoft products. PowerShell will be part of Essential Business Server, as well.