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Microsoft updates Hyper-V, server products

As Microsoft's virtualization hypervisor becomes available during day 2 of its partner conference, the company's small and midsize server products hit the release candidate stage.

There wasn't a ton of news out of day 2 of Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference, but the company did announce a few product milestones.

Its small and midsize business server products have both hit the near-final "release candidate" stage. Windows Essential Business Server 2008 (formerly code-named Centro) and Small Business Server 2008 (nee Cougar) are scheduled to launch and be fully available on November 12.

Microsoft also said its recently completed Hyper-V virtualization hypervisor is now available via Windows Update, as expected. The product had been available since late last month, but only as a manual download.

The software maker said it distributed 1.5 million copies of the pre-release version, though if I'm not mistaken, every copy of Windows Server 2008 came with a pre-release version of Hyper-V.

And, as I noted on Tuesday, Microsoft also made available several new online tools for partners, including Digital Forum--a social-networking tool for partners to share tips, ideas, and war stories, as well as Microsoft PinPoint--an updated version of its online catalog of partner offerings.