It has been nearly five full years since Windows Server 2003 was released to manufacturing, and the channel natives are getting restless. But the Windows Server 2008 RTM is almost here, and there's a palpable air of excitement and enthusiasm among VARs over the myriad improvements Microsoft has baked into the OS.
But while solution providers are pumped up about virtualization in Windows Server 2008, they're just as jacked about features like Network Access Protection, Internet Information Services 7.0, Server Core, and Bitlocker, and Terminal Services. Fueling VARs' giddiness is their belief that the new features will help them drive services revenue among existing clients, as well as capture new business.
In an interview with ChannelWeb, one Microsoft channel partner, in a frenzy over the impending release, described Windows Server 2008 as "a f---ing MONSTER release, a real game changer." We spoke with 10 other Microsoft partners who used somewhat less colorful language to identify the important features of Windows Server 2008 and how they'll impact the channel.