Kuala Lumpur, February 6, 2008 – Sailing towards the company’s largest enterprise launch in its history, Microsoft reached another important milestone today with the release to manufacturing (RTM) of Windows Server 2008.The response from IT professionals and developers has been strong as the company moves toward the launch of Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and Visual Studio 2008.

One indication of the momentum that is building around the latest server operating system is the number of beta and evaluation versions that customers and partners have obtained: more than two thousand locally.

IT professionals face increasing pressure from rapidly changing technology, increasing costs and security concerns, and expanding business needs. Windows Server 2008 helps alleviate these pressures by automating daily management tasks, tightening security, improving efficiency and increasing availability.  It also offers virtualization solutions that will enable IT professionals to reduce costs, increase hardware utilization, optimize their infrastructure, and improve server availability.

Furthermore, because Windows Server 2008 was developed in tandem with the Windows Vista code base, it has most of that operating system’s advanced management and security features, such as integrated Network Access Protection (NAP) and Group Policy enforcement using Active Directory.  Customers will also see system-wide performance improvements from an integrated system architecture, including network file sharing, managed quality of service and reduced power consumption. Common tools and processes across both operating systems will result in efficiencies for IT organizations.

“We’ve been working with partners and customers locally and around the world who are creating solutions that take advantage of the new platform’s feature set,” said Ramesh Rajandran, Product Solutions Marketing Manager, Infrastructure Servers, Microsoft Malaysia.  “There’s been tremendous support for the operating system and a lot of excitement around the opportunity it represents for the industry.”

Commenting on the deployment of Windows Server 2008, Poo Ching Loong, Senior Consultant, MAX Solution, said “Together with Microsoft Malaysia, we tested Windows Server 2008 core technologies such as Windows Server Virtualization and also Active Directory with customers to ensure that we can capitalize on the improvements and utilize new features. Our customers are happy with the improvements and are seeing big benefits in multiple areas.”

Customers: On Your Mark…
To help IT professionals evaluate the migration-readiness of their existing networks, Microsoft has created four automated assessment tools, or “solution accelerators:”

* the Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) tool, which helps evaluate installed applications on servers, performs hardware assessments and makes recommendations regarding server virtualization;
* the Infrastructure Planning and Design guides, which describe the architectural considerations involved in implementing the upgrade to Windows Server 2008;
* the Windows Server 2008 Security Guide, which provides best practices and automated tools to help strengthen the security of servers running Windows Server 2008, and
* the Microsoft Deployment tool, which decreases the cost of client and server deployments by providing detailed guidance and job aids for every organizational role involved with large-scale deployment projects.

Enterprise customers planning to upgrade should take the following steps when preparing to install Windows Server 2008:

1. Use Microsoft’s free tools to assess their enterprise’s current servers and determine which can be upgraded and which servers will require a “clean install. “
2. Engage with their application suppliers for prescriptive guidance.
3. Test applications they’re planning to run for compatibility with Windows 2008.
4. Research certified hardware and software solutions in the Windows Server Catalog www.windowsservercatalog.com

“First Look Clinics” to Windows Server 2008 in Malaysia
As part of its commitment to customer and partner readiness to deploy the next generation of server operating systems, Microsoft is running a series of First Look Clinics on Windows Server 2008, Visual Studio 2008 and soon SQL Server 2008.

These first-look hands-on labs introduces Windows Server 2008 content, such as:

* Windows Server Virtualization
* Branch Office Deployment
* Web Application Deployment
* Security and Policy controls in Windows and more

It also provides more information about the latest development tool which allows users to rapidly create web applications that provides a compelling user experience for Windows Vista and Office 2007.

“Windows Server 2008 is a key component to the next wave of hardware innovation and we anticipate that the release will be very well accepted here in Malaysia. As such, we are taking steps to ensure IT professionals, administrators, engineers and developers have the support and are prepared to make a seamless transition to Windows Server 2008 through initiatives such as the hands-on labs,” said Ramesh Rajandran, Product Solutions Marketing Manager, Infrastructure Servers, Microsoft Malaysia.

Worth over RM300 per person, the First Look Clinic runs for a full day at no charge. To attend this series, customers can register themselves at www.microsoft.com/malaysia/heroes.

Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and Visual Studio 2008 will be launched on April 8, 2008 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. More information and registration is available at www.microsoft.com/malaysia/heroes.

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