Internet Information Services 7.0 is being upgraded to 7.5 with support for PowerShell, the addition of out-of-band IIS extensions to the core product (so you don't need to download them manually), and integrated (and secured) FTP and WebDAV features. In fact, there is an entire new FTP server services for R2. Building on the application pool isolation that was available with IIS 7.0, which provided increased security and reliability, every IIS 7.5 application pool now runs with a unique, less-privileged identity. This will help to harden the security of applications and services running on IIS 7.5.
One of the cool new features to Active Directory is the Recycle Bin, where ActiveDirectory objects can be undeleted if they were accidentally deleted. Again, you can see PowerShell features enhanced with R2 as more cmdlets are added for administration and management through the command line. A new ActiveDirectory Administrative Center is in the plans to pool together all tasks rather than having separate consoles for users, domains, and sites.
There are enhancements coming with Hyper-V that are sure to be intriguing. Live migration, which will let you move running virtual machines from one node of a failover cluster to another in the same cluster transparently, without a dropped network connection or downtime. Dynamic virtual machine storage will provide support for hot plug-in and hot removal of storage is also in the works.
These are just a few of the many new features to look for in R2 of Server 2008. In them, I see a trend revolving around a greater use of PowerShell for each and every aspect of Windows Server, the use of the Best Practices Analyzer to be a tattle-tale on your network, and an increased focus on consoles that provide greater functionality. Most important, the connection to the Windows 7 client is going to be a huge motivator for adoption.
Hard to know now is whether the many great features in Windows Server 2008 R2 will motivate more companies to upgrade to Windows 7, or if the already in-place desire to move to Windows 7 will motivate an increase in Windows Server 2008 R2 adoption, driven by the desire to have the two working in tandem.
Where do you stand? Are you using Windows Server 2008 already and ready to move forward to R2? Are you planning a full Windows 7/Server 2008 R2 combo upgrade for your 2010 budget?