Gates Announces Windows Server 2008, Home Server SKU


Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates on Tuesday unveiled Windows Server 2008 as the official name of the next-generation "Longhorn" server operating system and said the company plans to roll out a version of another server targeted at system builders.

On the opening day of the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) in Los Angeles, Gates said Microsoft considered more exotic names for Longhorn but settled on the more practical Windows Server 2008, which is slated to release to manufacturing by the year's end. The current version is Windows Server 2003 Release 2.

In his keynote address at WinHEC, Gates also said that the Redmond, Wash., software giant is beta-testing another server offering called Home Server, which is due to ship in the fall. Plans call for Microsoft to release a special SKU of Home Server for system builders.

During his brief talk, Gates said Microsoft's ecosystem of hardware partners and device manufacturers have significant money-making opportunities based on the upcoming Windows Server 2008 and the now available Windows Vista client. Microsoft has sold 40 million copies of Vista since its general release in late January, he said.

"What's happened in the last 100 days is beyond our expectations. Forty million copies sold, twice the copies of Windows XP sold [in the same time frame]." Gates said. "It says that in the first five weeks we've matched the entire installed base of other proprietors of similar software. In five weeks, we've gotten to those levels."

Gates also noted that the fastest-growing part of the Windows PC market is mobile devices. To that end, he said a number of device and phone manufacturers plan to integrate their devices with Microsoft's upcoming Office Communications Server 2007 and Office Communicator 2007.