At Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) 2007 in Los Angeles, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates was the first one to officially christen Windows Server code-name Longhorn as Windows Server 2008. But Gates also did more than that, delivering a vague reference to the availability of Microsoft's last 32-bit server operating system. Gates promised that Windows Server 2008 would be released to manufacturing by the end of 2007. The date is vague because RTM is not synonymous with availability.
The bottom line is that, as even the name hints, Windows Server 2008 could only be
served to consumers in the coming year. "Windows Server, of course, has been phenomenally successful. It's the primary server used throughout the world for all the key tasks: file sharing, Web hosting, mail hosting, database hosting. This is a product that has driven incredible growth and success for both Microsoft and the industry. We still use the "Longhorn" codename to talk about this. It's really a very major product. We just put out the beta for this, so-called beta 3, and we've had more than 100,000 downloads of this, so it's a major, major product for us. We expect to release this product to manufacturing by the end of the year," Bill Gates revealed.
The real reason why Microsoft failed to produce a firm launch date is that in fact, Windows Server 2008 could miss the RTM in 2007. A member of the Windows Server Division commented in response to delay speculations and stated that Microsoft's general plans for the next release of the server operating system have not changed. "Actually, we remain fully on track for Windows Server 2008's release to manufacturing in the second half of 2007, with general availability following after that as usual, " the Windows Server team representative stated.
But none other than Bill Gates also offered an explanation for a potential delay of Windows Server 2008. "Of course, all our releases are driven by making sure that the quality feedback we get really makes it clear that this is ready to go into the mainstream as a high volume product," he said.