"They made a huge step forward with Windows Server '03, that was the first product from Microsoft since it started taking security seriously, and Server 2008 is an evolutionary continuation from there, versus anything dramatic," said John Pescatore, analyst with Gartner. "A lot of the improvements here are continuations of the big leap made in Server 2003."
However, the expert said that the arrival of NAP could lead to noticeable growth in the adoption of NAC as companies that have been holding off on embracing the access control tools may finally get off the fence.
"First we have to wait for people to roll out Active Directory on Server 2008, and that will take time, but by 2009 I expect to see enterprises who have been saying they want to do NAC, but were waiting for NAP, to move forward," he said. "This will also force standalone NAC vendors to prove that they offer real value beyond what is being baked into the Windows product line."