With Windows Server 2008 being released only 6 months ago, i’m sure it’s natural for people to wonder “what’s next?”  As I have been combing through various blogs this weekend, I found it exciting to see so much interest and speculation over the next version of Windows Server.  While I’m bound by company NDA to not talk about features or functionality for the next version yet, I would like to take a moment to clear up a little confusion about the name and cadence of the next version of Windows Server.

Throughout the launch of Windows Server 2008 we said we would be keeping with a 2/4 year major/minor release cadence with the next version of Windows Server.  So it is appropriate that the name of the next version reflect that – Windows Server 2008 R2.  (http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/us/roadmap.aspx)

That release cadence is indeed still the plan for the Server team.  I believe a lot of the fuel for speculation comes from the internal development codename: “Windows Server ‘7’ or Windows ‘7’ Server” and what we will be calling it publically: “Windows Server 2008 R2.”

It is important to note that Windows Vista shipped a year earlier than Windows Server 2008, so the client version of Windows 7 will have an extra year of development. The client in fact will be a major release, but, as we’ve said before, compatibility with previous versions of Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 is a design goal.”

Ward Ralston
Group Product Manager
Windows Server