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Microsoft confirmed yesterday it was on track to spin out Windows Server 2008 R2 this autumn.

The software giant buried the announcement among the Windows 7 release hoopla on Tuesday, when it said Microsoft’s upcoming operating system would be generally available on 22 October.

Additionally, the company said it was aiming to release Windows Server 2008 R2 within the same timeframe.

"Windows Server 2008 R2 RTM code is on track to be available to our partners sometime in the 2nd half of July," said Windows Server group product wonk Ward Ralston yesterday.

Unsurprisingly, Microsoft wants businesses that might be considering an upgrade from Vista XP to buy the server product in conjunction with the Windows 7 OS.

“With the release of Windows Server 2008 R2, companies of all sizes will get big improvements in virtualisation, web and management,” opined Microsoft’s OEM veep Steve Guggenheimer.

“These areas, along with several features that improve scalability and reliability, help deliver a strong value proposition on the server side to complement Windows 7.”

However, convincing companies to upgrade their software and kit could prove an uphill task for Redmond in these cash-strapped times. Significantly, the vendor hasn’t revealed anything about pricing for the OS or server products yet.

One Dell exec has already voiced his concerns about the higher price tag MS has applied to Windows 7, which could slow adoption of the operating system.

Computer manufacturers were told the Windows 7 pricing structure last month. According to reports, Microsoft could go public with its price list as soon as next week. ®

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