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