Windows Server 2008 is now in Beta 3 and feature complete, but Microsoft is delaying it because "it needs a little more time to bake," according to Windows Server program manager Alex Hinrichs, who is quoted in the announcement on Microsoft's Windows Server blog. There's no indication if the added "baking" time will help push forward the release of Windows Server's upcoming virtualization technology, Viridian, which had also been delayed -- and also announced on a company blog.
Microsoft had planned to host a joint launch party for Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and Visual Studio 2008, on Feb. 27, and that's still going on as planned, according to Microsoft. However, Microsoft isn't being any more specific with release timing, so it's up in the air whether Server 2008 will release to manufacturing before, on, or after that date. SQL Server 2008, for example, is slated to be released in the second quarter of next year.
"Microsoft's first priority is to deliver a great product to our customers and partners," Helene Love Snell, a senior product manager in Microsoft's Windows Server division, wrote on the Windows Server blog this morning. "While we're very happy with the feedback we're getting and the overall quality of the latest product builds, we would rather spend a little more time to meet the high quality bar that our customers and partners deserve and expect."
Back in June, rumors swirled that Microsoft was delaying release to manufacturing of Windows Server 2008, then were quashed with a statement from Microsoft that the software remained "fully on track." In announcing the delay, Microsoft noted that Windows Server 2008 Beta 3 has been downloaded 300,000 times and that Microsoft.com itself runs on Windows Server 2008.