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Windows 2008 R2 gets a release date

Microsoft today anounced the offical release date for Windows Server 2008 R2 – October 22. This coincides with the news out of TechEd last month that the OS would be widely available before the end of the year (it had generally been expected to not be out until early 2010). The company’s much anticipated follow-up to Vista – Windows 7 – will also drop that day.

The fact that the new server and desktop operating systems will be out on the same day is not much of a surprise. Microsoft has spent a lot of time lately talking up the benefits of using the two systems together, so I’m sure they are hoping that the joint release date will help coax IT shops into upgrading to both at the same time.

Virtualization enhancements with Hyper-V have naturally gotten the lion’s share of press for R2, and impressions thus far have indeed been positive. Another brand new feature that’s generating some buzz recently, however, is R2’s File Classification Infrastructure (in fact, one expert I spoke with described this one as ‘coming completely out of nowhere’). The feature is mainly designed to reduce the risks of storing sensitive data on your network. It adds automation capabilities to the File Server Resource Manager role Windows 2008, enabling FSRM to classify the sensitivity of individual files based on their content or location, while at the same time automating the elimination of files gone stale.

We’ll be posting an in-depth FCI article from Greg Shields on the site in the next week or so, so be sure to keep an eye out for that.

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