It is safe to say that the public reaction to Windows Vista has been less than stellar, and many IT departments have no plans to deploy Vista in their enterprises at this time.
Many IT departments pass on the release to manufacturing (RTM) versions of Microsoft products until the release of the first service pack. Some industry analysts have taken to naming Vista SP1 as the "second coming," but many feel that Vista SP1 will do little to fix an unpopular operating system.
Still, Vista SP1 does contain many performance enhancements that soon become obvious to users. These improvements include faster boot times, snappier menus, support for new hardware, faster wireless connections and improvement to the IT administrator experience (such as a new network diagnostic tool). Unfortunately the release of SP1 offers little to Microsoft partners.
On the other hand, the release of Windows Server 2008 is generating considerable excitement. Like NT 4.0, Windows 2000 and Windows 2003, Windows Server 2008 is based on the same code base as the workstation product -- Vista in the case of Windows Server 2008. The new features of Windows Server 2008 include:
- PowerShell: Windows 2008 ships with PowerShell, Microsoft's new scripting language. PowerShell was released several years ago, and it has quickly become a very popular scripting language. The release with Windows Server 2008 will only serve to increase its popularity, and IT managers will be able to leverage the existing PowerShell mindshare to find administrators for Windows 2008.
- Self-healing NTFS: In prior versions of Windows, a damaged disk would require the server to be taken offline. In Windows 2008, only the damaged portions of the disk will be inaccessible until they are fixed.
- IIS 7's new features: Microsoft's popular IIS Web server has been reworked for improved performance and security. It now allows for XCopy deployments and has improved administrative functions and diagnostic tools.
For Microsoft partners working with Windows Server 2008, there are considerable opportunities for training, deployments and integrating third-party tools.
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