From the EditorHere's to Windows Server 2008

Products launch all the time. And when you have a portfolio of hundreds of products (thousands, really, once you start to consider the Web), the notion of a product launch can get pretty mundane. Not so this time.

This February, Microsoft marks the launch of Windows Server 2008, and we couldn't be more excited. There's no question that this release has been a long time coming, but I think you'll find it was worth the wait. The number of major improvements—and the sheer amount of new functionality—is staggering. We could certainly talk about IIS 7.0 (and we do) or Network Access Protection (we do that, too). We could cover Server Manager, or new deployment techniques, or new compliance features (check, check, and check.) Heck, the list goes on for quite a while, but to tell you the truth, what strikes me most about this new release is how much effort was put into improving the manageability of Windows Server.

We spend a lot of time around here trying to focus on what we can do to make the life of an IT pro easier. Given that, it's really satisfying to see a product with so much focus on helping the IT pro do his job better. As an example, take the new Eventing infrastructure in Windows Server 2008, which Rob Campbell and Joel Yoker discuss in this month's issue. It's hard for even the geekiest among us to get energized about Eventing, but I have to tell you, I'm floored by what a difference it makes in this release. XML data, custom views, more detailed descriptions, easier reporting ... It's almost too much to handle.

All kidding aside, the major improvements to the bread and butter of our business through this release give good reasons to be excited. Enhancements to Active Directory, IIS, networking, security, virtualization, and more make this one of the most significant product launches in our history, so we dedicate this issue to everything you need to know about Windows Server 2008.

And as a special treat, we're very pleased to welcome back Mark Russinovich, Technical Fellow in the Platforms and Services Division and creator of the always popular Sysinternals tools. Mark has authored some of the most sought-after content in TechNet Magazine history, most notably his series, "Inside Windows Vista Kernel Changes" (from our February, March, and April 2007 issues). Mark reprises that series this month with a deep, technical look at the changes you'll find in the Windows Server 2008 kernel. Enjoy!

—Joshua Hoffman

Thanks to the following Microsoft technical experts: Brandon Baker, Mai-lan Tomsen Bukovec, Bryce Cogswell, Nils Dussart, Gregoire Guetat, Brett Hill, Gaby Kaplan, Jason Leznek, Paul Mayfield, Nathan Muggli, Meg Muran, Michael Murgolo, Michael Niehaus, Raja Perumal, David Solomon, Eric Traut, Jim Truher, and Landy Wang.

© 2008 Microsoft Corporation and CMP Media, LLC. All rights reserved; reproduction in part or in whole without permission is prohibited.