Windows Server 2012 R2, the follow up to the hugely successful release of Windows Server 2012 has reached the milestone which we at Microsoft call RTM or “Released to Manufacturing.”   For those of you unfamiliar with this Microsoft terminology, this means that we have received signoff from our beta test customers that Windows Server 2012 R2 is ready to release, we have ceased development on this version, and moved our development efforts to the next release.  It takes a good while to get Microsoft’s partner ecosystem ready for a release, so today’s RTM gives partners a good bit of time to get ready for the General Availability of Windows Server 2012 R2

So when is the General Availability (GA in Microsoft-speak) of Windows Server 2012 R2 taking place when I can purchase/download the final released code?  Well I’m glad you asked!  October 18th is the date when Windows Server 2012 R2 will be Generally Available. 

GREAT NEWS!  To get ahead of the many changes coming with Windows Server 2012 R2, you can download a preview copy TODAY of Windows Server 2012 R2 from here.

In the meantime, to help IT Pros get up-to-speed on the many changes that are coming with this release, I encourage you to check out Brad Anderson’s 9-part blog series on “What’s New in 2012 R2.”  The first post in that series can be found here.

Other downloads such as System Center 2012, Microsoft Virtual Academy, and a Windows Azure Free Trial can be found off my download links page at http://aka.ms/FAB4.

Enjoy!