As I write this,  I’m in the room where it all happens – in building 26, better known as the ship room.  Ten minutes ago Windows Server 2008 officially RTM’d.  Also in here with me are my colleagues who have been working on Windows Vista SP1, also RTM’ing today.  We’ve all been working towards this day for the past 3 years and over 5,000 people have contributed to this release.
It’s an exciting day for us and an exciting day for our partners, and customers.   As one of the guys responsible for getting Windows Server 2008 out the door, I thought I’d pull back the curtain a bit and let everyone know what it’s like to be here as we ship Windows Server 2008.    
In the final days leading up to RTM, the tone in the war room meetings was calm, almost too calm because there were minimal bugs to resolve and final testing went very smoothly.  We focused on testing of the code changes made in Nov/Dec to make sure nothing regressed. Hundreds of system component teams across the Windows division and Microsoft performed their escrow test passes and signed off.  The last important step was to ensure our deployment customers, OEMs, and Microsoft IT were satisfied and had no major issues.
For the past two years we have run performance benchmarks against Windows Server 2003, the Lone Server, and saw significant performance benefits with IIS7, File transfer using SMB2, and across multiple networking scenarios.  I expect that customers will see significant improvements running Windows Server 2008 because we only install the binaries and services required for the specific role they deploy.  This means a small server footprint, easier management, and less servicing.  With server core, you can even install a GUI-free server. 
I am extremely proud of the Windows Server development team who worked hard to ensure that Windows Server 2008 is a world-class operating system.   Every day I get to come to work with such smart and dedicated people, and we will remember this moment for the rest of our lives.  For the development team, the celebration begins today. But we’ll continue to celebrate and look forward to seeing a lot of our customers and partners at the Heroes Happen Here Launch event in LA, on February 27!   
-Alex Hinrichs, Group Program Manager Windows Server 2008
Thinking about upgrading – see guidance posted here:
Want more information on Windows Vista SP1, see the Windows Vista Team Blog: and the Windows Vista Experience Blog: