Microsoft has announced that Windows Server 2003 R2 has been released to manufacturing. Customers should be able to get hold of the new OS within 60 days. But with quite a few other products being released by the software giant recently, the release of this version of the OS might pass by unnoticed somewhat. The company narrowly made its target release schedule of the second half of 2005. All in all, it’s been quite a year for Microsoft's Server and Tools division.

To recap quickly, we saw the Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 and X64 editions released in the spring, and the beta release of Windows Server "Longhorn," the first public beta of Windows Server 2003 Compute Cluster Edition, and Virtual Server 2005 R2 this fall, not to mention the long-awaited SQL Server 2005 database update and Visual Studio 2005.