Updated 10:55 a.m. with clarification from Microsoft that Hyper-V standalone is not scheduled to ship until sometime in the second half of 2008, contrary to what Muglia stated.
Microsoft is getting ready for what it calls its biggest IT launch in history.
I'm not sure everyone will agree with that notion, but the launch of Windows Server 2008 and the next version of Visual Studio is clearly an important one for Microsoft, given that the server and tools unit has been one of Microsoft's fastest-growing businesses in terms of sales and profits. (Microsoft is also "launching" SQL Server 2008 at the event, but the product itself won't actually be ready until the second half of this year.)
Ahead of Wednesday's launch, I had a chance to talk with Server and Tools boss Bob Muglia. Here are some of the highlights from our interview.
What are the Vista ties for Windows Server 2008?
Muglia: One of the most important Windows Vista ties is we are building the products off the same code base and we simultaneously shipped (Windows) Vista SP1 with (Windows) Server 2008. The real benefit of this for customers is that it makes it simpler for us to maintain and drive the systems forward as we learn about security issues.
There is an enormous amount of work that went into improving the security across the board that applies to both the client and the server. And then there are some very specific things on the server we have done. All of the ports are closed by default and we only open them up as the roles are installed on a machine.
Are there also some ties in terms of the network access protection feature?
Muglia: We worked across the client and server teams to build network access protection so that when clients are out in the wild and they rejoin the corporate network, they have to run a health check to make sure they fully meet the company policies and they have the latest set of patches and antimalware signatures before they join the network.
Is there a "live" component to Windows Server?
Muglia: The biggest "live" component is the fact that Windows Live runs on Windows Server. Microsoft.com is running entirely on Windows Server 2008 right now. A good part of the Windows Live servers are running Windows Server 2008. We don't have any direct connection to Windows Live because Windows Live is really targeted to consumers.
Microsoft, Windows Server 2008, WS2008, Win2K8, Windows Vista, Release