BARCELONA, Spain, November 12 /PRNewswire/ --

- Broad range of new products and programmes unveiled as Microsoft helps customers prepare for the next generation of Dynamic IT.

Today at TechEd IT Forum 2007, Microsoft Corp's foremost technology show in Europe for IT professionals, Bob Kelly, corporate vice president in the company's Server and Tools Business, announced details of next-generation solutions to deliver Dynamic IT for the People-Ready Business.

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"Earlier this year, we introduced our vision for Dynamic IT, which aims to make IT a stronger partner to the business by bringing together the capabilities of core infrastructure, application and development platforms," Kelly said. "At TechEd IT Forum, we are demonstrating how that vision is coming to life for customers as IT is streamlined across the full spectrum of our software and technology offerings, including through exciting new developments with Windows Server, Microsoft System Center, Microsoft SQL Server and the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack. The response from customers has been strong as we move towards the worldwide February 2008 launch of Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and Visual Studio 2008."

New Windows Server 2008 Virtualisation Offerings, Pricing, Licensing Details

During his keynote address, Kelly made the following announcements related to Windows Server 2008:

-- Hyper-V. This is the official name of the server virtualisation technology within Windows Server 2008 that was previously code-named "Viridian". Microsoft also announced Hyper-V Server, a standalone hypervisor-based server virtualisation product that complements the Hyper-V technology in Windows Server 2008 and allows customers to virtualise workloads onto a single physical server. -- Windows Server 2008 editions, pricing and licensing. Microsoft will offer customers the choice of eight versions of Windows Server 2008, each tailored to suit a variety of customer requirements. Pricing and licensing details were also disclosed. Complete details can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2007/nov07/11-12HyperVPR.mspx -- The Server Virtualization Validation Program. This new programme will enable vendors to test and validate virtualisation software running Windows Server 2008 and previous versions. The programme will also enable Microsoft to offer cooperative technical support to customers running Windows Server on validated, non-Windows server virtualisation software. -- Microsoft Virtualization Solution Accelerators. This set of free guidance resources and tools can help IT professionals effectively plan and deploy virtualisation technologies. The initial release includes the Infrastructure Planning and Design series and the Assessment and Planning tool beta programme. Details can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/technet/solutionaccelerators.

New Microsoft System Center Products, Alliance Programme

Kelly also announced general availability of three new products in the Microsoft System Center family of systems management solutions, and expanded alliances and investments intended to provide customers with the solutions they need to build more dynamic IT systems.

The System Center products now available can enable organisations to optimise a variety of scenarios, including server and software deployment, compliance and configuration management, backup and restore, and virtualisation management. They are listed here:

-- System Center Configuration Manager 2007 -- System Center Data Protection Manager 2007 -- System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2007

Kelly also made the following announcements related to Microsoft System Center:

-- The System Center Alliance programme provides detailed guidance and resources to help partners deliver tools and products that can work with Microsoft System Center management solutions. The programme can also help partners communicate information about their offerings to customers. Additional information about the System Center Alliance programme and community can be found at http://www.systemcenterpartners.com. -- System Center Server Management Suite Enterprise Edition licence helps enable customers to manage their entire server life cycle with one purchase and can provide better value for managing both physical and virtual server environments.

More information about Microsoft System Center announcements can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2007/nov07/11-12DesktopDataCent....

TechNet, MSDN Revamped to Provide Stronger Community Connections

Kelly unveiled a series of improvements to the TechNet and MSDN online experiences, which provide comprehensive tools to help IT professionals and developers evaluate, plan, deploy and maintain complex systems and develop advanced software solutions. The enhancements include the following:

-- New online Developer TechCenters increase visibility of key members of the technical community. For example, MSDN Library Community Content enables experts within the MSDN community to extend and enhance Microsoft product documentation with code samples, links to related resources and more. -- A new TechNet EDGE online community created for IT professionals features video interviews with Microsoft insiders and community experts. -- Updated TechNet and MSDN forums feature a new user recognition system that rewards forum users with points for participation and contribution. -- Enhanced TechNet and MSDN online Evaluation Centers provide access to trial and beta software as well as virtual labs and virtual hard disks. -- TechNet and MSDN Spotlight is a new video portal featuring the best-rated sessions from Microsoft's top technical conferences worldwide.

More information about TechNet and MSDN enhancements can be found at http://www.msdn.com and http://www.technet.com.

Additional Announcements at TechEd IT Forum

Microsoft continues to create new products with Dynamic IT in mind to help provide customers with better-connected, simplified and adaptable IT systems. To help customers prepare for the next generation of Dynamic IT environments, Microsoft made a number of other announcements today:

-- Microsoft SQL Server Community Technology Preview. The November Community Technology Preview (CTP) for Microsoft SQL Server 2008 is available for customer download this month. It features a significant amount of new functionality, including compatibility with Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 as well as new features such as Resource Governor, Backup Compression and Transparent Data Encryption. This CTP also includes new business intelligence enhancements such as Design Alerts, Block Computation, Enhanced Report Designer with new visualisations and integration with the 2007 Microsoft Office system. This also is the first CTP to help customers store and consume any type of data, including new FileStream data types for unstructured documents, and to provide spatial data support for location intelligence technologies. Separately, companies such as Barrodale Computing Services (BCS) Ltd, Environmental Systems Research Institute Inc, I.S. Consulting Inc, Manifold and SpatialPoint announced their intention to ship applications that take advantage of spatial data support in SQL Server 2008. -- Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack details unveiled. More than 3 million licences for the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) for Software Assistance have been sold since it was made available to Microsoft Software Assurance customers in January 2007. The following new components of MDOP for Software Assistance are now available for beta testing: -- Microsoft Application Virtualization 4.5, formerly known as SoftGrid Application Virtualization, is the first Microsoft-branded release of the product. It includes several key features for the enterprise, including the addition of Dynamic Virtualization, extended enterprise scalability, enhanced security and globalisation features. Microsoft Application Virtualization is available as a public beta on Microsoft Connect and will become available through MDOP and Microsoft Application Virtualization for Terminal Services in the second half of calendar year 2008. -- Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset (DaRT) 6.0 helps enable IT staff to remove viruses and spyware from an offline system. DaRT now supports both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, unlocks BitLocker volume encryption, and enables files to be pulled from USB devices. DaRT is available as a private beta and will become available through MDOP in the first half of calendar year 2008. -- Microsoft Asset Inventory Service (AIS) 1.0 offers a complete software inventory scan of the server environment. It was released to the web this month and is available for MDOP customers after activation of the service at https://licensing.microsoft.com/elicense/l1033/default.asp. More information about MDOP for Software Assurance is available online at http://www.windowsvista.com/optimizeddesktop. -- 2007 Microsoft Office system update. Also announced, SP1 for the 2007 Microsoft Office system will be available in early 2008, featuring compatibility with Windows Server 2008 as well as improvements in stability, security and performance. -- Microsoft FastCGI Extension for IIS 6.0 download. Microsoft announced the release of FastCGI Extension for IIS 6.0, which is available as a free download from the Internet Information Services (IIS) community site at http://www.iis.net. For the first time, Microsoft is providing full support for technology, which enables reliable and scalable PHP hosting on production Windows Server 2003 web servers. Windows Server 2008 with IIS7 delivers FastCGI with a Go-Live licence, making it the first Windows operating system to natively support PHP hosting. More information is available online at http://www.iis.net/php. -- Windows Essential Business Server publicly demonstrated. The newly named Windows Essentials Business Server (formerly code-named "Centro"), Microsoft's integrated IT solution for midsize businesses, is being publicly demonstrated at TechEd IT Forum 2007. New details about the product's capabilities, as well as industry hardware and software partners supporting it, can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/presskits/serversolutions/ default.mspx. -- Group Policy Preferences. Formerly known as PolicyMaker Standard Edition and PolicyMaker Share Manager, Group Policy will be integrated into the Group Policy Management Console (GPMC) and made available to Microsoft customers in the following two ways: -- Integrated into the Group Policy management tools in Windows Server 2008 -- Integrated into the forthcoming Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) for Windows Vista SP1, which will be available as a separate download in the Windows Server 2008 time frame and will work in a Windows Server 2003 environment Customers can continue to purchase PolicyMaker Standard Edition and Policy Share Manager from DesktopStandard Corp, a Microsoft subsidiary, to 31 Jan 2008. More information about Group Policy Preferences can be found at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=103735.

About Microsoft TechEd Europe

In its 14th year in Europe, TechEd is Microsoft's definitive European conference for building, deploying, securing and managing connected solutions. With a strong mix of developer, infrastructure and messaging content, Microsoft TechEd Europe is Microsoft's premier technical training conference for a wide range of technology professionals. TechEd Europe, held this year in the Centre Convencions Internacional (CCIB) in Barcelona, Spain, encompasses both TechEd Developers (5-9 Nov) and TechEd IT Forum (12-16 Nov).

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realise their full potential.

About Microsoft EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa)

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For videos of Microsoft spokespeople discussing today's news and an inside look at TechEd: http://www.mseventseurope.com/teched/07/itforum/Content/Pages/Default.aspx

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Suzanne van de Raadt of Waggener Edstrom Worldwide, +44-(0)-207-632-3876, suzannev@waggeneredstrom.com, for Microsoft Corp / NOTE TO EDITORS: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft in EMEA, please visit http://www.microsoft.com/emea or the EMEA Press Centre at http://www.microsoft.com/emea/presscentre. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at the time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact the appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/emea/presscentre/contactus.mspx. If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft Corp, please visit the Microsoft web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass on Microsoft's corporate information pages. / Photo: NewsCom: http://www.newscom.com/cgi- bin/prnh/20000822/MSFTLOGO , AP Archive: http://photoarchive.ap.org , PRN Photo Desk, photodesk@prnewswire.com