Windows Server 2008's real release slides into next year

Microsoft has pushed Windows Server 2008 out one quarter. Instead of seeing the bits at the end of this year, it will land sometime in the first quarter.

It may not make a bit of difference to the whopping majority of IT managers, but just for the record, Microsoft pushed its release date for Windows Server 2008 out a few months.

The software company is still going ahead with its promotional launch for Windows Server 2008 at the end of February 2008, but the server OS needs a little more time to slow cook, according to the Windows Server team, which posted the update on its blog.

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Microsoft has made significant changes to the server OS since releasing Windows Server 2008 Beta 3. For one, it added more roles such as virtualization and IIS 7.0 to its minimal install option called Server Core.

Windows Server 2008 is adding features such as Network Access Protection, BitLocker drive encryption and read-only domain controllers for branch offices. For some, having a decent feature set is reason enough for Microsoft to push back the release date.

"It's not a significant delay," said Michael Cherry, an analyst at Directions on Microsoft, a Kirkland, Wash., consulting firm. "You can't beat them up for doing the right thing, which is shipping a good product. Also, I don't think any company is going to take a piece of software dropped on their door on Thanksgiving and do anything with it until after the New Year."

The launch event in February will also tout SQL Server 2008, which won't be available until later in 2008.

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