May 31st marked a special day for Microsoft and our customers worldwide. Our Windows team announced the release of our latest preview of Windows 2012 - Windows 2012 Release Preview (RP).  This includes Windows 2012, Internet Explorer 10, new Windows 2012 apps for Hotmail, SkyDrive, and Messenger (and many more) – plus hundreds of new apps in the Windows Store.  Additionally, Windows 2012 RP is available for download in 14 languages. 

In the broad announcement today we noted that Windows 8 delivers a fast, fluid, no-compromise experience and shared updates that are available in Windows 8 RP, including (but not limited to):

  • New Metro style Bing Travel, News and Sports apps.
  • Gaming and Music Xbox apps that integrate with your Zune pass.
  • Improvements to the Mail, Photos, and People apps that initially debuted with the Windows 8 Consumer Preview.

You can download it from here.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/hh670538.aspx

It’s important to note that the Windows 8 Release Preview incorporates feedback from people all over the world, including our strong Microsoft self-host community. With our last preview of Windows 8 (Windows 8 Consumer Preview), Windows 8 has become the most deeply-tested and broadly vetted Windows release ever. 

Our book “Introducing Windows Server 2012” is now available for download as a FREE .pdf ebook on the Microsoft Server and Cloud Platform home page at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/server-cloud/new.aspx.  Just look at the right under Find Training and Certification.

Also, the Release Preview build of Convert-WindowsImage.ps1 is now available for download.

http://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/scriptcenter/Convert-WindowsImageps1-0fe23a8f

Convert-WindowsImage is the new version of WIM2VHD designed specifically for Windows 8. Completely rewritten in PowerShell, the Convert-WindowsImage command-line tool allows you to create sysprepped VHD and VHDX images from any official build of Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows 8, and Windows Server 8. 
 
Images created by Convert-WindowsImage will boot directly to the Out Of Box Experience, ready for your first-use customizations. You can also use these images for automation by supplying your own unattend.xml file, making the possibilities limitless. Fresh squeezed, organically grown, free-range VHDs - just like Mom used to make - that work with Virtual PC (Windows 7 only), Virtual Server (Windows 7 only), Microsoft Hyper-V, or Windows' Native VHD-Boot functionality!