Microsoft announced at a press conference in San Francisco that Windows Server 2008 (codenamed Longhorn) will be launched on February 27, 2008. On the same day Microsoft will also release Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and Visual Studio 2008.
This may come as a surprise to those following the Windows 2008 Server news closely, since most sources at Microsoft have been insisting that the next version of its server operating system will released at the very end of 2007. Apparently in Redmond there is a difference between releasing the OS and the extravagant product launches, which are more of a pep rally for the product then a technical presentation.
Since this news comes in the context of a speech at the Worldwide Partner Conference, the focus is on money and how much Microsoft Partners can expect to make off the release of these three products. With lackluster Vista sales, along with Apple and Linux continuing to push hard for acceptance in the corporate workplace, this year most resellers have had to rely on Office 2007 to make their sales numbers. Next year could be a different matter. Windows Server 2008 integrates tightly with Vista, which will help speed adoption of both OSes in the corporate world. (I know personally of several Fortune 500 companies that are waiting on Server 2008 before starting their Vista rollouts, including my own.)