Yesterday, Bill Laing, general manager of Microsoft’s Windows Server Division, was quoted as saying in his WinHEC 2007 presentation that Windows Server 2008 would be the last 32-bit Windows operating system Microsoft would produce for either clients or servers. Today, Alex Heaton clarified the matter at the Windows Vista Team Blog:
While Windows Vista includes both 32-bit and 64-bit and there is a growing community of drivers for 64-bit Windows Vista we have not decided when Windows Client will follow Windows Server and become 64-bit only.
There’s a similar denial at the Windows Server Division Weblog as well
Day 2 seems to have been Windows Server Day at WinHEC 2007 with Bill Laing, general manager of Microsoft’s Windows Server Division orchestrating the show. While there were some spiffy demos (e.g. hot swap) the only new news seemed to come out in the discussion of the roadmap for Windows Server operating system products (,) where it was revealed that Windows Server 2008 R2 would be 64-bit only and that Windows Server 2008 would be the last 32-bit operating system, client or server, that Microsoft would release. Presumably that injunction does not apply to variants of Windows Server 2008 like Home Server which in beta, at least, are 32-bit and of course versions like Centro and Cougar (i.e. Small Business Server) were already scheduled to be 64-bit only because they include Exchange 2007 which is 64-bit only.
Windows Server OS Roadmap
Finally, Mark Russinovich’s interesting keynote description of some of the kernel changes in Windows Server 2008 (e.g. no more specific uniprocessor kernel variants) is summarized by Peter Galli at eWeek.
The parade of announcements (and hype) at Microsoft’s Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) 2007 actually started on Sunday with 9 office phone companies signing onboard Microsoft’s Unified Communications push, but the action really started yesterday with Bill Gates’ kickoff presentation:
Getting away from the self congratulation part of the festivities:
If this seems a little ho-hum, I think it is and a rather soporific production for what is supposed to be Bill Gates’ final WinHEC appearance.
Today Microsoft promised that a beta of Viridian, the free Windows Server virtualization facility accompanying Windows Longhorn Server, will be available when Longhorn is released to manufacturing. Unfortunately however, along the way to making the recently delayed promised release of Viridian within 180 days of Longhorn, some features had to be cut. Mike Neil, Microsoft’s GM of virtualization strategy, has the details at the Windows Server Division Weblog:
So we are making the following changes, and postponing these features to a future release of Windows Server virtualization:
- No Live migration
- No hot-add resources (storage, networking, memory, processor)
- Support limit of 16 cores/logical processors (e.g., 2 processor, quad-core systems is 8 cores; or 4 processor, quad-core system is 16 cores)
I wanted to share this information this week with partners and customers so that no one is surprised at WinHEC when we demo all the other innovations in Windows Server virtualization.
I doubt that the lack of these features is a catastrophe, but the delay of previously promised features makes Viridian seem a less than top rank offering. Moreover, while it will still be usable for garden variety server consolidation, the lack of live migration means that Viridian cannot be used for state of the art workload switching configurations as can offerings from competitors VMware and XenSource.