Windows Server 2008 R2 Release Candidate (download) brings many changes to the operating system. Here, I've highlighted some of the most important improvements in the implementation of Hyper-V. For example, running guest systems can be configured on the fly to add or remove virtual hard drives. I tested using the newly released Windows 7 Build 7100 along with the RC build of Windows Server 2008 R2. Changes in User Account Controls, PowerShell and AppLocker are all significant enough that IT managers should brush off their study skills and buckle down with the newest version of Microsoft's server operating system. Also look for changes in Group Policy, Active Directory, remote desktop services and deployment services. Even features that didn't change much in functionality usually have a new address; I spent a fair amount of time during my testing just poking through the user interface, looking for familiar landmarks that had been buried in new locations.
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