SteveB has announced availability of the Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 beta program this evening at the International Consumer Electronics show.

 

This signals imminent availability of the beta bits for beta program participants, MSDN subscribers, TechNet subscribers, and others.  I'll also now begin a series of postings about features that are new and significant with the platform.   There are lots of technologies to cover.   One that I like the most is the availability of new optional features and roles with the Server Core installation option.

 

Server Core has previously been leveraged as more of a network service host.  We’ve now broadened those network serivce host capabilities and also extended Server Core application hosting capabilities.  Solution Architects should now consider using Server Core as an Application Server.  PowerShell V2 is available as an optional component allowing Server Core installations to benefit from remote and local command line administration and automation.  Select portions of the .NET framework are now supported.  .NET feature subsets include .NET 2/3/3.5 and ASP.NET.

 

A primary appeal of Server Core installations is the reduced attack and management surfaces.  Windows Server 2008, Server Core, installations have benefited from a 40 percent reduction in required patches versus the standard server deployment.

 

Learn more about Windows Server 2008 R2 features at MSDN Code Gallery.  And watch for Server Core developer-oriented sample projects posted at the Server Core project wiki.