The Beta 2 for Windows Server AppFabric is available for download today at http://msdn.microsoft.com/appfabric. We’re encouraging developers and IT professionals working with .NET 4 and Windows Server to download the Beta and provide feedback, as we prepare to release the final version of Windows Server AppFabric to be delivered by Q3 of 2010.

First announced at PDC 2009, Windows Server AppFabric is a set of application services focused on improving the speed, scale, and management of Web, Composite, and Enterprise applications.

To date, more than 8,000 developers have downloaded the Beta 1 version of Windows Server AppFabric. Customers, including, Associated Press, Bentley, and Jettainer are already seeing strong benefits that include significantly increased performance, simplified development and management, and improved availability and reliability for their most demanding applications.

Developers and IT Pros using Windows Server AppFabric can expect the following benefits:

Faster Web Apps Made Easy

Windows Server AppFabric helps developers improve the speed and availability of web applications through distributed in-memory caching and replication technology that works with current ASP.NET applications.

Simplified Composite Apps

Developers can simplify the development of composite applications with the pre-built application services in Windows Server AppFabric, used in conjunction with Visual Studio tools and .NET Framework capabilities (ASP.NET, WCF and WF). IT Pros can also simplify the deployment, monitoring, and management of composite applications with configuration and monitoring capabilities that are integrated with familiar tools (PowerShell, IIS Manager, and System Center).

Enterprise Performance and Availability

An enterprise’s most important and demanding applications can achieve elastic scale, performance, availability, and reliability (benefits often associated with the cloud) with the help of Windows Server AppFabric. These and countless other benefits from an unparalleled partner ecosystem utilize familiar skills from the .NET Framework and Windows Server.

Complementing these Windows Server AppFabric services for on-premises development, Windows Azure platform AppFabric delivers connectivity services (specifically Service Bus and Access Control, formerly known as “.NET Services”) for composite applications spanning to the cloud. Together, Windows Server AppFabric and Windows Azure platform AppFabric provide a comprehensive set of services that help developers rapidly develop new applications spanning Windows Azure and Windows Server, and which also interoperate with other industry platforms such as Java, Ruby, and PHP.

Nick.