Though it was impacted by the same delays as Longhorn/Windows Vista, Longhorn Server targeted a market that was more than willing to wait. It was also built by a different organization, the Windows Server group, which had been run by Bob Muglia since its inception in 2003. Among other changes, Muglia instituted a major/minor release cadence for the product line, starting with Windows Server 2003, which was a major release. Under this plan, major releases would appear roughly every four years with minor releases spaced evenly in the interim.
Windows Server 2003 R2 (for “Release 2”), as the first minor release was called, appeared right on schedule in September 2005, providing the predictability that Microsoft’s corporate customers wanted. It replaced the original Server 2003 release in the channel, as it offered the same compatibility while only adding a handful of optional new features.