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Windows Server 2008 Pushed Back -- Again

Windows Server 2008, Microsoft's delay-plagued next-generation server OS, is being delayed yet again.

Windows Server 2008, Microsoft's delay-plagued next-generation server OS, is being delayed yet again.

An entry on the Windows Server team blog today announced the delay of release to manufacturing (RTM) from late this year to some time in the first quarter of 2008. Such a delay could conceivably put off commercial availability until the second quarter or later, although Microsoft doesn't see that happening.

Microsoft is currently slated to "launch" three major server products -- Windows Server 2008 (code-named Longhorn Server), SQL Server 2008 (code-named Katmai) and Visual Studio 2008 (code-named Orcas) -- on Feb. 27, 2008 in Los Angeles. How will the delay affect the launch? According the blog, not at all. "The answer is simple: it doesn't. We'll be there in LA on February 27 and at venues around the world in the following days and weeks," writes the unnamed author.

The reasons for the delay were unspecified, but the blog entry points to high standards as the culprit. "We would rather spend a little more time to meet the high quality bar that our customers and partners deserve and expect. As one of our leading program managers, Alex Hinrichs, told me, "It's like a brisket ... it just needs a little more time to bake," the blog entry said.

Today's announcement marks the latest in a growing list of embarrassing retreats for Windows 2008. In a June 5, 2007 posting on the same site that today announced the delay, a somewhat defensive entry asserted that there would be no Windows 2008 delay. "Today we noticed a couple articles which have incorrectly speculated about a Windows Server 2008 delay. Actually, we remain fully on track for Windows Server 2008's release to manufacturing in the second half of 2007, with general availability following after that as usual," the poster, identified only as "Helene," wrote.

Windows 2008 is currently in beta 3 testing and, according to the blog, is doing very well. The author mentions that there have been more than 300,000 downloads of beta 3, and that the company's chief Web site, Microsoft.com, has been running entirely on Windows 2008 since even before beta 3.

Even despite that allegedly strong showing, problems continue to dog the successor to Windows Server 2003. Windows 2008 has already had a number of important technologies either delayed or killed outright in order to meet production schedules that have themselves suffered numerous delays.

One of those technologies, Windows Server Virtualization, had three key components stripped out, Microsoft announced in May. "We adjusted the feature set of Windows Server virtualization so that we can deliver a compelling solution for core virtualization scenarios while holding true to desired timelines," Virtualization Strategy General Manager Mike Neil wrote at the time.

Microsoft also indicated, as reported previously, that there will be at least one release candidate (RC) following the beta period, before the product is RTM'ed.

About the Author

Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Visual Studio Magazine.

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