Yesterday saw me and two colleagues heading to Birmingham ICC centre to take part in some talks about Microsoft Windows 2008 Server. Manged to sit in on 3 talks in total about varying aspects of Windows 2008 such as new security features, new roles that could be accomplished and obviously new features. We didn’t manage to make it to the last talk due to the hall it was being held in filling up far too quickly and we’d sat in the wrong hall first 🙁
Microsoft seem to be getting more right nowadays, some of the new features being released indicate that things are definitely changing for the better, this could easily change though and it’s not the first time that Microsoft has made promises both before and during a launch only to be shot down due to bugs/faults in the release. One thing that they have ventured into but from the talks don’t seem to have got quite right is the new Windows Server 2008 Core install, this new install version will give you a non-gui CLI only Windows installation – I can only assume to be able to compete with *nux. However, they have failed to be able to provide ASP extensions meaning that all you can do is server static content or run PHP. Now this might be good for those who do only code static pages (are their anyone who still do this?) or run PHP, however the lack of ASP extensions means that Windows developers are really going to stick with the standard GUI interface to be able to run the apps they develop. This seems to defeat the object of having a CLI version as if I want to run PHP then I’ll just stick a Linux box online to do that job!
They do however have a lot going on with their new HyperV technology which looks particular interesting with the ability to manage other vendors Virtualisation software such as Xen and VMware. The interface for managing installs of this seems extremely simple and well thought out which could come as a shock to those used to running Virtuozzo (or parallels server virtualization as it is now know as) due to the, well lets put it simply, completely crap interface they provide!
Something else that they seem to be incapable of doing is converting fault / log id’s into text, they demo’d to us how you can now enable full auditing when running a DC, as the demo showed, when you disable or enable an account in the DC, it now logs that this has been done and according to the person showing us, code 62345 (made that code up but it’s like that) means the account has been enabled, ffs, why not just tell us that rather than having us look through a bunch of codes to find out it’s meaning?
All in all it was a good day, very informative and well presented. The free drinks and chocolate bars seemed to go down very well which is not surprising with a building full of 1000+ geeks! They also laid on a spread for lunch in the expo area which is the first time I’ve seen that been done although the food wasn’t exactly the best 😀