What is next big from Microsoft ?

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Although Microsoft won’t say when it will arrive, the next version of Windows Server won’t be another minor release.

In an interview on Monday, server and tools unit president Bob Muglia said Microsoft is sticking to a schedule set out several years ago in which the server and tools unit puts out alternating minor and major releases every two years or so. The most recent update, the server version of Windows 7, was a minor update–Windows Server 2008 R2–completed last year.

“There’s no question you’re due for a major release of Windows Server,” Muglia said, following his keynote speech at the TechEd conference in New Orleans. Microsoft isn’t expected to talk much about its plans for the next versions of Windows until next year.

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Muglia said it was too soon to say what features would be in the next server operating system.

“We’re not talking a lot about the next version of Windows Server today,” he said, “but I think what you’ll see is…that the learnings that we have from Windows Azure will be pulled back into Windows Server, just like there’s features in Windows Server and SQL Server that are being pulled up into Windows Azure and SQL Azure.”

He did say that the next Windows Server is being developed alongside the next desktop operating system, which also hasn’t been given a formal codename, list of features, or target date. “Just like with Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7, we worked on a common schedule and a common thing with our friends in the client team, and we’re still doing that.”

Earlier on Monday, Microsoft said it plans in July to start public beta testing of a service pack update to both Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. Microsoft hasn’t said when a final version of that update will arrive.

I’ll have a bunch more from my interview with Muglia in a Q&A that will post on Tuesday, including his thoughts on Google, the future of Windows Server, and Azure.

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