Windows Server 2008 R2 Beta is now available.  You can download it from the Windows Server 2008 R2 Beta site. 

Key Features for ISVs

You will want to start using Windows Server 2008 R2 for your own development efforts right away. Here's some of the features that apply to ISVs developing applications:

  • Improvements to IIS and the Windows Web platform.  New features in IIS 7.0 as well as other areas of Windows Server 2008 R2 to help applications run faster while using fewer system resources. The improved features also combine to help reduce the effort to administer and support Windows Server-based applications as well as improve availability, reliability, and scalability.
  • Enabling Server and Desktop Virtualization. Client and server virtualization is provided by Hyper-V. It allows you to provide a virtualized environment for testing, development, and customer demos. In addition, presentation virtualization is provided by Remote Desktop Services' RemoteApp, formerly known as Terminal Services.
  • Improved Data Center Power Consumption Management and Streamlining Managment. For ISVs, you'll enjoy remote management of servers through graphical mangement consoles and command-line and automated scripts using PowerShell version 2.0.
  • Scalability and Reliability. Your application can leverage the new CPU architectures. The operating system is becoming more and more componentized. You should see higher performance for your applications, out of the box. And much more.

Key Customer Benefits

Your customers will also see advantages in Windows Server 2008 R2, such as:

·         Multicore/Manycore NUMA Readiness.  A Windows Server I/O or resource intensive solution leveraging the new NUMA topology APIs and related constructs optionally using the Concurrency Runtime + PPL or .NET Parallel Extensions.

·         Server Core + (.NET, ASP.NET, or WWSAPI).  A Windows Server Core based solution leveraging .NET and optionally ASP.NET, Windows Web Services API (WWSAPI), or PowerShell 2.0.

·         PowerShell.  A Windows Server solution leveraging any new PowerShell 2.0 features including Remoting, Eventing, GUI, WMI Enhancements, Universal Code Execution Model, among many others. Optional scenarios include solution integration with PowerShell for Software as a Service management automation.

·         Enterprise Network Solutions.  A Windows Server solution leveraging the Branch Cache server feature or using the WinHTTP/HTTP.SYS stack directly or optionally using a network stack dependent technology like BITs Lightweight Server or Windows Web Services API.

You can find out more about why Windows Server 2008 R2 is the right move for you and your customers at Introduction to Windows Server 2008 R2. You can find resources such as presentations, white papers, review guides, and newsgroups and forums at the Windows Server 2008 R2 Resources.