Microsoft announced on Tuesday, at the company's annual Worldwide Partner Conference, that the next version of its server operating system, Windows Server 2008, is set to launch in February 2008, despite previous plans to be finalized before the end of the year. In addition to Windows Server 2008, new versions of SQL Server and Visual Studio will be released, in what they are calling the biggest single day of launches in Microsoft's history.

A Microsoft representative said that Windows Server 2008 is still on track to RTM at the end of the year. However, some experts continue to believe that it will be challenging for the company to hit its mark considering the company’s constant roadmap revisions.

The new operating system, formerly code-named "Longhorn", includes Internet Information Services 7.0, which was recently added to its server core, as well as the PowerShell scripting language, role-based deployment options and network access protection features. The server virtualization components will be released six months after Windows Server 2008 launches.