Info-Tech Research Group recently surveyed nearly 50 enterprises regarding server hardware and operating system (OS) installations, focusing on Windows Server 2008. Since well before the February 2008 launch, Microsoft touted new features aimed at addressing the reasons why IT shops deploy non-Windows OSes. In particular, Windows Server 2008 incorporates features such as Server Core (a mode that eschews the GUI for a command-line interface), Role-Based Installation (allowing administrators to provision only the portions of the OS needed to support the given application), and PowerShell (a scripting language). Undoubtedly, Microsoft hopes these features will give Windows-leaning shops a reason to avoid Linux (and possibly Apache) when setting up the next Web server, for example. The question is whether this strategy will succeed.
According to Figure 1, early adopters of Windows Server 2008 mostly deploy the new OS to expand the existing Windows server fleet. This is to be expected, as Microsoft Windows Server 2008 is the next evolutionary improvement to the Windows Server family.