For me it has been a long road. It all started 2 years ago with the "Longhorn Server Software Design preview", followed by countless training events and deep dive labs in Bld20 and around the world.
Today we announced that Windows Server 2008 released to manufacturing. In this release of Windows Server 2008 we are delivering a world-class Server product, which has got high level of praise throughout the industry.
There are numerous technologies which are ground breaking in the release and after 2 years you tend to forget how far we have come. Here are just a few
Internet Information Services (IIS) 7.0 – Modular architecture, high levels of administration
.NET 3.0 - Highly productive Application Platform, with key features such as Windows Communication Foundation and Windows Workflow built-in to the latest version of the .NET Framework as part of the Application Platform Server role.
Server Core – Low footprint with no GUI version of the OS to drive appliance type functions in the enterprise
Server Manager – ONE console to setup roles and features for the server machines
Terminal Services Gateway – Allows access to apps without the need for a RAS client
Network Access Protection – keep network safe from un-healthy clients by placing them in quarantine until tested to corp policy.
PowerShell - Object based scripting host which is taking the world by storm.
Failover Clustering – Improved cluster management as you have seen in my posts on edge
Next Generation Net Stack – Super fast and reliable networking stack
Read-Only Domain Controller – Provides a safe solution for domain controllers residing in branch offices which would not be compromised if stolen
Hyper-V Beta – server virtualization. Hyper-V RTM in 180 days
So if you are a developer, where do you go to get hold of all this?
Firstly, where do you get hold of the bits? Well if you have TechNet or MSDN subscriptions or access through Connect you can download it from these sites today. For people that do not, you have two options. 1) Wait until the end of the month when it can be downloaded from the site or 2) Purchase the base TechNet+ subscription which will get you the bits.
Secondly, where do I get the information I need about App Compat and developer features? Well the best place to go is the MSDN developer center. This provides pointers to the App Compat Cookbook, top things that light up applications on Windows Server 2008, and a whole load of "how to" videos and training kits. If you are developing for .NET, you just need to head for the .NET Framework developer center.
Finally, enjoy the ride......