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Bill Laing talks about Windows 7 Server (Windows Server 2008 R2)

After desktop version of Windows 7, it’s server counterpart finally got a day in the sun. Microsoft Vice President Bill Laing pointed out the obvious difference between the products that would use the server software, as compared to Netbooks and other PCs built on Windows 7.

“We actually use forklift devices to bring our toys,” he said, pointing to several refrigerator-size servers that were on stage with him.

Next week, the company plans to launch the small and midsize business versions of its server products–Windows Small Business Server 2008 (formerly code-named Cougar) and Windows Essential Business Server 2008 (formerly code-named Centro).

But the main focus was on the server version of Windows 7, known as Windows Server 2008 R2. It’s noteworthy because, on the server side, Microsoft is characterizing Windows 7 as a minor release, while the desktop Windows 7 is being called a major release–albeit one with fewer low-level changes than came with Vista.

As for Windows Server 2008 R2, Laing confirmed its statement that it will be 64-bit only.

Other features include support for more processors–256 compared to 64 in Windows Server 2008–as well as live migration and the next version of its PowerShell scripting language. Live migration was a feature originally planned for the first release of Windows Server 2008, but the plan was scrapped as Microsoft aimed to get the product out the door.

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