Microsoft releases Windows Server 2008 updates

Microsoft today announced the availability of Windows Server 2008 Release Candidate 1 in addition to a release candidate for Vista Service Pack 1.

New in this version of Server 2008 is an enhanced group policy feature, Group Policy Preferences. Features formerly packaged in PolicyMaker Standard Edition and Policy Share Manager are integrated into Windows Server 2008 and provide administrators with controls over how Windows settings are configured when delivered to the user. Group Policy will also be integrated into the Remote Server Administration Tools for Vista, which will be available as a download.

Client-side support for Group Policy will also be available for systems running Windows Vista, Windows XP SP1 and Windows Server 2003 SP1.

With the release of Vista Service Pack 1 RC1, Microsoft aims to deliver greater compatibility with existing applications, broader driver support and improved performance. It is also rumored that Microsoft will, with this release, ease the piracy protections embedded in Vista, but GCN has not been able to confirm this information.

According to Microsoft, 1.8 million users have already downloaded previous versions of Windows Server 2008 beta for testing. Official launch of Windows Server 2008 is scheduled for February 27. No date for the official release of Vista Service Pack 1 is available.

Evaluation code for Windows Server 2008 RC1 can be downloaded here.

About the Author

Patrick Marshall is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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