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MS touts Windows 7 integration with Windows Server

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Microsoft next week will distribute a pre-beta of Windows Server 2008 R2 to a select group of testers and highlight the software's virtualization capabilities, integration with Windows 7 and other features.

The company has moved to align Windows Server 2008 R2, which briefly was referred to as Windows Server 7, and the Windows 7 client OS although Microsoft officials would not say if they would ship together.

But users who adopt both will get new security, networking and other features although some of those will require network upgrades like implementing IPv6. 

The R2 pre-beta, which is a 64-bit only platform, was given to attendees of the company's WinHEC and TechEd EMEA conferences that were held last week. The R2 server pre-beta comes a week after Microsoft distributed Windows 7 to attendees at its Professional Developers Conference (PDC).

The company said a more widely distributed R2 beta would come next year alongside the Windows 7 beta.Two weeks ago, Microsoft said at its PDC that the Windows 7 beta would ship in early 2009.

Bill Laing, Microsoft's vice president of Windows Server and systems, however, said after the tandem release of the two betas that Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 would not necessarily share the same ship date. 

Microsoft observers have been theorizing that Windows 7 could ship as early as mid- to late 2009. Laing said last week Microsoft still plans to ship the R2 server in 2010. 

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