Roadmaps for the first service packs (SP1) for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Azure, SQL Azure, Windows Server AppFabric, Big Maps, and Microsoft Unified Communication Server, and Windows Client were announced at Tech Ed North America today.

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Windows Server 2008 R2/Windows 7 SP1 Beta Availability by the End of July

The SP1 public beta will help customers within the desktop, datacenter and the private cloud. Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 takes the operating system to a new level for partners and customers looking to virtualize with the additions of Remote FX and Dynamic Memory. Because there is no need to wait, customers should plan to deploy Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7 now and deploy SP1 when it is available.

More information can be found on:

· The Windows Server Team blog

· The Windows for your Business blog

Windows Azure Platform

Microsoft Corp. today announced new features and enhancements to the Windows Azure platform as part of its commitment to evolving the platform to deliver resources developers need to build applications in the cloud. This includes an updated Windows Azure Software Development Kit with support for .NET Framework 4, which enables developers to build more connected applications in the cloud, and support for Visual Studio 2010 IntelliTrace, which simplifies the process of debugging services in the cloud. In addition, the Windows Azure platform Content Delivery Network will move from community technology preview to general availability, enabling improved end-user performance and delivery of content stored in Windows Azure.

More information and downloads are available at http://www.windowsazure.com.

Updates to SQL Azure

Microsoft announced it will offer spatial data support and access to 50GB of SQL Azure Database capacity allowing for higher scalability, flexibility and easier management of applications and services. Further enhancements to management capabilities include the public preview of SQL Azure Data Sync Service, which provides more flexible control over where and how data is distributed and synced across multiple datacenters, and Microsoft SQL Server Web Manager, a lightweight and easy to use tool to help develop, deploy, and manage data-driven applications on the cloud.

Windows Server AppFabric

Released to manufacturing today, Windows Server AppFabric simplifies the development and management of composite applications by providing improved speed, elastic scale and high availability through distributed caching capabilities and new tools. Customers with licenses for Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2 (Standard and Enterprise editions) can download Windows Server AppFabric at no additional cost. More information and a download are available at http://www.appinfrastructure.com

Bing

With today’s release of the Bing Map App Software Development Kit (SDK), developers can now create their own map apps built on top of Bing Maps and hosted on bing.com/maps. By opening up the map app API, Microsoft is enabling developers to take mapping beyond point-to-point directions by providing a rich spatial canvas to visualize content, create dynamic mash-ups and help people complete tasks faster.

Microsoft Unified Communications

Today, Microsoft Corp. disclosed the full feature set of its forthcoming unified communications platform, Communications Server “14,” which will be available later this year. Key new features in this release include expert search, Office document and application sharing, and one-click meeting access from Outlook, SharePoint and mobile phones, which contribute to the complete unified communications experience that connects people anytime from anywhere. To see screenshots of the new features, visit the Office 2010 Virtual Pressroom image gallery at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/presskits/2010office/imageGallery.aspx.

In addition, Microsoft also announced that Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 SP1 beta is available today for customers to download at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=193120. Exchange Server 2010 SP1 beta delivers e-mail archiving expansion, e-discovery enhancements, and Outlook Web App (OWA) improvements, based on customer feedback since RTM.

Microsoft Exchange team blog: http://msexchangeteam.com/archive/2010/06/07/455065.aspx
Microsoft Communications Server team blog: http://blogs.technet.com/b/uc/

Windows Client

Today Microsoft Corp. announced that Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V) v2 Beta will be available in CYQ4 and will provide the most seamless user experience while simplifying overhead and management for IT professionals. MED-V v2 Beta will include the ability to pre-configure MED-V workspaces that can be delivered to user desktops via System Center Configuration Manager or any electronic software distribution tools. MED-V v2 Beta provides an enterprise application compatibility solution for Windows 7, with all the functionality of Windows XP Mode including seamless applications, USB support and printer capabilities. More information is available on the MDOP blog at http://blogs.technet.com/b/mdop.

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Bruce D. Kyle
ISV Architect Evangelist | Microsoft Corporation

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