Not only did Microsoft release the first Beta of the Windows 7 client
for download as of January 7, 2009, but the Redmond company also made available the Beta milestone of Windows 7 Server. While Windows 7 is the successor of Windows Vista, Windows 7 Server is designed as the next stage in the evolution of the software giant's server OS. In this regard, Windows 7 Server has been labeled as Windows Server 2008 R2 (release 2). Microsoft synchronized the development and release milestones of the Windows client and server operating systems as of Windows Vista Service Pack 1 and Windows Server 2008, and the concomitant launch of Windows 7 client Beta and Windows 7 Server Beta indicates the company's commitment to continue advancing with the two platforms in parallel.
“In the life of Windows Server, [January 7, 2009] marks general availability of public beta for the new Windows Server 2008 R2 and, for me personally, I've never had my geeky mitts on a better version. The new release incorporates a host of new features and capabilities that I hope you'll check out; the code is as stable a beta as I've ever seen, and combined with the beta of Windows 7 you'll be able to evaluate not just a bevy of new server-side capabilities, but a new level of synergy between server and client operating systems, too,” Oliver Rist
, technical product manager for Windows Server Marketing, revealed.
Fact is that even in 2008, Microsoft started emphasizing the advantages synonymous with running the Windows 7 client and server platforms together. While the two platforms are indeed joined at the hip, the move is designed not only to streamline development and manageability in corporate IT infrastructures, but also to drive home the idea that the two operating systems are better when used together.
At the same time, the strategy has also impacted negatively the next iteration of the Windows client. In this sense, based on the fact that Windows 7 Server is Windows Server 2008 R2, the Windows 7 client has also been reduced to a Release 2 of Windows Vista by critics, despite Microsoft's claims that it is indeed a major version of the OS.
“And speaking of Windows 7 [...] Windows Server 2008 R2 is a powerful upgrade to any Windows Server data center all by itself. But in combination with Windows 7 on the client side, you'll enter a whole new world of manageability and productivity: DirectAccess makes remote access ubiquitous (I'm nuts about this one); BranchCache can improve file retrieval at branch offices, while simultaneously decreasing WAN bandwidth costs; new Group Policy objects allow deeper control of client desktop management, including access, system monitoring, and even physical resources like power management; you'll be able to manage and keep data safe even on removable drives, by using BitLocker to Go,” Rist added.