back to article Microsoft releases battling OS release candidates

Microsoft has started printing up the invites for the launch of Windows Server 2008 as it finally sets loose release candidate 1 of the long-awaited server operating system. Microsoft's decision to put a red ring around 27 February came as it released another test version of Vista Service Pack 1, the update it is banking on to …


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  1. Shaun
    Gates Horns

    Microsoft is Sylar?

    Anyone else see the similarity - Sylar kills people and steals their powers........... Oh wait - my bad - Microsoft are more like Bob - They can turn any c**p into gold...........

  2. paul brain

    Based on Vista code

    For the love of an omnipotent entity ( should one exist ) ..... No

    So we'll all have migrated Linux in 5 years time then, due to lack of options and a real world effort to reduce carbon emissions.

    Twice as many servers to do the same thing we did on yesterday's operating systems with a single brick of Iron, using twice as much power, costing twice as much to support. But hey, you get 'virtualisation' ( ooohhh )

    This is making an unqualified assumption that 2008 will be pants, just like its desktop variant(s).

    If I were M$, I'd solve the Vista ecosystem first and ensure take-up, then release Server 2008 ( basic, home, home premium, business, business premium, business premium extra, enterprise basic, enterprise standard, enterprise business, enterprise premium, Ultimate Server ) to avoid any 'sh1t by association' issues with IT managers reluctant to use the new OS's bells and whistles based on historic Vista performance evaluations.

    I'm starting to sound like AManFromMars now, damn ! !

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    migrated Linux in 5 years time then

    I thought we all ready are... I migrated 4 years ago - best decision i ever made...

  4. Mark

    Poor understanding

    You show no knowledge of the MS development cycles regarding the releases of workstation and server products when you write "Of course, development cycles slipped, and Vista came out long before the server OS".

    That's shoddy journalism married with the usual cliches to disparage anything from Redmond. Server releases and Workstation releases are scheduled to be 2 years apart. It's supposed to work like this:

    year 0: Initial Workstation Release

    year 1: SP1 for Workstation

    year 2: R2 Workstation Release : Initial Server Release

    year 3: SP2 for Workstation : SP1 for Server

    year 4: Next Gen Workstation : R2 Server Release

    Obviously the time wasted by writing Vista and chucking it away a couple of times has made a mockery of any timescales within the workstation group, but the server group generally keep more or less on track. The fact that in this case Vista SP1 coincides with the release of Server 2008 is no accident. There are many client/server technologies built in to these products to make them work better together, this is how you synchronise the functionality out in the field. The same happened when Server 2003 was released, there was an XP Service Pack at the same time.

    Of course the two products share a source code tree, they are both Windows products !!!! The kernel in both is essentially the same. In the same way that Server 2003 and XP shared the same source tree.

    Assassination by association does not work, the server product does not have all the crappy, bloated junk applications inside it that ship with the workstation.

    The jobs required of both products are universes apart. I have never had much faith in the MS workstation group, they are arrogant beyond belief because they know they have you by the balls. In comparison Windows Server has never held a monopoly, they have always had to compete against mainframes and minis in the data centre and other good products like NetWare by providing what works in a stable environment.

    I don't hear you decrying Windows Server 2003 as a bad server. Why don't you download a copy of Server 2008 and test it before sniffing down your ignorant nose ? You might be very surprised, assuming you have the ability to keep an open mind.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    @ Mark

    Wow - slow day at Microsoft HQ?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Have to admit I agree with mark

    2003 is stable and works well, the only problems I have had has been when running it on under powered machines, I havent looked at 2008 since beta 1, dunno what its on now but I liked the look of it.

    Vista does suck balls and am hoping that it will be the wakeup call that M$ need to realise they cant just give the consumer the sh!t that they tried to foist on us, but in truth I have never really had a lot of problems with windows server platforms at all.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    God help us...

    QUOTE :

    "Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 originally began as part of a single development project, and as such they share a number of new technologies across networking, storage, security and management."

    If Server 2008 is anything like Vista, then either none of our clients will ever upgrade again, or simply move over to Linux.

    Vista is the biggest pile of crap I seen, I know many said XP were like this when first out, or ME or 98, but nowhere near.

  8. Anonymous Coward


    "year 4: Next Gen Workstation : R2 Server Release"

    Year 6: genuinely out of beta - just in time for it's "end-of-life" statement and another hardware-upgrade-cycle milking.

  9. John Bayly
    Thumb Down

    Why use a server based on Vista?

    I really don't get it. When I want a server, I want to serve data strangely enough. My Linux & FreeBSD boxes don't have X Windows on them. Everything is done on via a terminal & SSH.

    The features of Vista appear to be Eye candy & UAC. Eye candy on a server is pointless, and as not too many people tend to log onto the machine you don't really need a dialog popping up saying "Are you really sure you want to stop that service? It may do something bad".

    I also use Windows Server 2003, and it's not too bad, though I do curse it a hell of a more than it's Open Source alternatives. I mean, who ships a server with a scheduling service that doesn't have a mechanism to tell you when a job fails. If I have to log on just to check if a job has run I may not as well schedule the job (ok, they do tend to be run during the witching hour).

    Basically, if Server 2008 is as hungry as Vista it'll be useless. The OS is there to allow applications to run, not to take away valuable CPU cycles & Memory.

  10. Mark Aggleton

    @John Bayly

    Read about the OS before you criticise it. 2008 can be run in a command line only interface which surprise, surprise doesn't have 'eye candy'

    @anonymous coward - not everyone who uses and even like MS rather than open sauce products works in Redmond.

  11. Mark Menzies

    Windows goes linux - Sorry I mean Server Core

    @ John Bayly, I agree with you there, Windows has, and always will have, bloat beyond reason, including the server versions.


    In 2008, we will see a cut down, high performance, stripped server OS that will only be accessed by a command line. This will mainly run file and print servers etc, and all other goodies that don't need a GUI.

    However, we can't run server core as a web server, as IIS depends on .NET and ASP, which when I attended the fascist propaganda that was a M$ Technet event, Server Core does not support .NET (but its expected to be added before full release).

    Anyone else think that M$ are now moving back the way in their server systems, or are they just realising that a command line server is really a good thing???


  12. Paul Taylor

    Why upgrade ?

    I work on a business Campus where there are 7 rather large companies.

    Out of the seven companies 2 run Server 2003 based Active Directory, and the other 5 use Windows 2000 Server.

    After speaking to the surrounding IT Managers, none of us plan to upgrade to Server 2008.

    Why ?. The old Server operating systems do the job just fine on quite elderly hardware.

    MS kept theatening to cease support for 2000, but they still release patches for it nearly every month.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    oh look just in time for xmas

    Another turkey

  14. Scott Mckenzie


    If 2008 Server is as hungry as Vista is, maybe that's why there have been so many delays - they're waiting for Intel/AMD to build something powerful enough to run it without having to go to Cray....

  15. Pascal Monett Silver badge


    "the two products share a source code tree"

    Beyond my first reaction (uh, duh !), I must admit that I am a bit skeptical about the claim that "the server group generally keep more or less on track". If the source code tree changes, then the server group is stuffed and the keeping on track is likely to be rather less than more.

    But nonwithstanding the on-trackiness of the server group, what I conclude from your rabid defense of this pile of turkey doo is that, if I should get a lobotomy and actually want to try something named Vista, I should actually try the server version.

    Hmm. That could be feasible actually, at the condition that the server version forgoes the embedded DRM and useless and annoying UAC. I would guess that, for a server version, speed in copying files is of the essence, and a UAC popup kind of defeats the use of server in the first place.

    So it's nice to know that the day I lose my brain I'll still have something to play with. Meanwhile, I'll stick with XP if you don't mind.

    Well actually, I'll stick with XP whether you mind or not.

  16. This post has been deleted by its author

  17. Mark


    Always funny when presenting information to closed minds. It's like talking to Apple fanatics.

    I said above that I don't care for the workstation products, and please don't tell me that Linux is a better workstation than any MS workstation product. Workstations compete by putting in bloated crappy applications, and I've seen some pretty useless bloated crappy Linux applications that can even make Vista look like a saint.

    "Shared Source Tree" --- The Windows Kernel is the Windows Kernel, be it XP, Server 2003, Vista or Server 2008. When you have client/server code the distributions share that source tree ... DOH !! I suppose Linus Torvalds has separate source trees for the Linux Kernel depending on what mode of distribution it will have ? Get real.

    NetWare was the best PC based server system for years, Server 2003 and now Server 2008 starts matching it.

  18. Mark


    What a perverse conclusion !!

    XP has a shared source code tree with Server 2003, in exactly the same way as Vista does with 2008. Would you recommend someone try Server 2003 as a look and feel example of XP ?

    User mode (where the applications are) and kernel mode are two different things. Workstations and servers are aimed at vastly different audiences and the difference is in what applications goes with it. Vista's problems boil down to having tons applications badly conceived and written applications ... that's the result of the workstation group. Servers don't have to have applications to teach granny how to use Wi-Fi, instead they tend to do useful things like maximise network and storage data throughput.

    Since Windows 2000 when the single Windows kernel was introduced its the server team who have owned and written the kernel, the workstation group are rarely allowed to touch it ... largely because they tend to code on the infinite monkey prinicple.

  19. John Bayly

    @the two Marks

    Thanks for correcting me about that CLI. It does sound like MS have finally realised what a server is supposed to do, and is quite possibly a positive sign.

  20. paul brain


    Rant tastic mate.

    Stay off the coffee and embrace the alternatives. A closed mind incurs license fee's.

  21. Stan


    If the servers group's doings are so hot why are they not the market leaders?

    And yes, the linux kernel is the same for everyone, be it a distro like fedora or an ultra-streamlined compile for dedicated hardware. Thing is, if I want an ultra-streamlined kernel for my poxy old P2 laptop the source is there and no one is stopping me.

    The source has rights and privileges built in from the ground up, even if a vulnerability does show up it will be with a single component rather than the entire structure and that component will become the focus of a huge number of developers for as long as the problem persists.

    Copying the oh so popular shell interface may make life easier for a lot of folks (if MS can manage not to f**k up POSIX compliance) but all it boils down to is MS paying the highest form of compliment to Linux, BSD and other unix-like OS's and, inadvertently, admitting they got it wrong.

    Personally I don't think MS will ever get to enjoy the view from the top of the server market.


  22. Campbell
    Gates Horns

    @Paul Taylor

    Agree with you Paul.

    Why do we have to change our OS every 4 years or so. It makes no sense, we have stable platforms now. Businesses are running fairly smoothly on XP/2003 even 2000 platfoms so why, why do Microsoft have to throw a spanner in the works EVERY 4 years or so.

    It's not like the hardware now is vastly different than 4 years ago. Surely it makes more sense to build on the strengths and eliminate the weaknesses of the current platform without having to rip it out and start from scratch dealing gods only knoiws how many faults, bugs, "features" and vulnerabilities.

    If it's a money issue, then surely the Suits can work something out, or is that too much like hard work for their shiny arses?

    Lastly, why aren't 64bit OS and apps mainstream yet? Someone seriously dropped the ball on that one.

  23. Scott

    K so like the ball was dropped

    K, so like there is no Avatar picture for either Hexley or for the BSD Daemon that makes me sad.

    Note, I probably will never read this thread again. So all you antagonists that don't like my opinion, this is the internet.. it's free, click your close button, don't waste your time replying to me when I won't ever read it.

    I do not write code, I am not a SysAdmin/Op, "I'm just this guy I know!"

    On to the subject at hand...

    Command Line for a File & Print Server is enough, even for most web servers and chat servers it's perfectly fine. Microsoft already screwed up their chances on POSIX compliance many times over esp with cygwin. I've been using computers since the age of the Commodore 64 and Coherent UNIX i386. I do agree the 64-bit ball was dropped and it was dropped hard. Most of it is the OS's fault 64-bit XP could have been marketed more heavily. I do agree with you folks regarding the differences between Microsoft workstation and server products. I remember when NT 4.0 Server was new, it was so much nicer than NT 4.0 Workstation and those products came out almost at the same time. Then again the majority of clients for NT 4.0 Server's first half of life was Win95 & 98 with most business users just using NT workstation because it was much more stable. That trend continued with 2k and XP/2k3. Yes some people run the Server product as their workstation and re-do the priorities on the Services. really doesn't matter. I think Microsoft could have done a better job of Vista for Business in this regards to make it more Workstation and less "consumer" or "pro-sumer" Could you imagine people paying an extra $200 just to not have Aero 3D and all the other crap? it'd be a boon to marketing "Ultimate" stature Business products, but it wouldn't make the AOL, MSNBC and other "partner" folks happy. Someone answer me this. Microsoft used to have some good products like Xenix (it was ok for what it as) and Word for DOS. How long is it going to take them to figure out it's time for something other than Windows to be their primary Operating System or product? They're a software company not an Operating System company. How long is it going to take them to figure out that Office needs to be trashed and start over from scratch with something new and more streamlined and creative?

    Yeah I know I'm a Mac user but I've been using all kinds of computers and platforms and interfaces long enough to know when a horse is dead. Windows Server has never been a extremely successful or exciting product. I'm tired of software that has a bajillion features that a consumer or server admin might not use. How about a more streamlined set of product families with maybe game-like "expansion packs" that add features you need? Then people that don't need them buy more of your products because your more service-able to the (L)user or Admin.

    Thanks for reading.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    mmmmm Why can MS just charge say £100 for initlal purchase and say £25 per year after that, same as AV and just about everybody else does. That way they could build on the strengths and fix the weaknesses of the OS.

    Why do we have to have a full new OS, and all the attentand heartache with upgrading and bugs every few years?

    Oh and why the heck were AMD and Intel allowed to produce 64 bit CPU way before there was an operating system ready for them. And why the heck did AMD and Intel not kick the likes of MS in the balls and tell them to get it sorted before releasing the x64s?

  25. freddyzdead
    IT Angle

    Server vs Workstation

    I find this thread quite interesting. I have been using Server 2003 for 4 years now as all my main desktop OS, because it doesn't have the bloat of XP, and it doesn't have the Fisher-Price GUI, either. Or at least I can turn it off.

    It's easily the most bulletproof thing ever to come out of Redmond. One server box has gone more than 14 months without a reboot.

    From what I've read here, I don't think there is any need whatsoever for Server 2008, other than that it's five years since the last release, so, gee, it must be time for a new one.

    Releasing the Vista monster into the real world of servers would be a frightful wrongdoing. Anyway, the IT community is far too awake to let anything like that happen. Isn't it?

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