Windows Server 2012 will Release To manufacturing (RTM) in the first week of August – that’s when you’ll be able to download and install it. Combined with Windows Azure, is the cornerstone of Microsoft’s truly differentiated Cloud OS vision.
Based on your feedback, we are making Windows Server 2012 licensing simple, economical, and better aligned with how you use it, including aligning the model with System Centre 2012. There are now four editions based on the size of your organisation, as well as their virtualisation and cloud computing needs.
From a technical standpoint, these editions are the same. All features that are available in the Datacenter edition are also available in the Standard edition. The only difference between the two editions is virtualisation rights. Windows Server Standard Edition includes two instances of Windows Server while Windows Server Datacenter Edition includes unlimited instances of Windows Server.
With Windows Server 2012, there’s ONE QUESTION you have to ask: Are you licensing Windows Server 2012 to run:
A. a workload on the bare metal, or
B. as a virtualization host?
If the answer is A, then you should purchase Windows Server 2012 Standard. If the answer is B, then you should purchase Windows Server 2012 Datacenter.
In announcing that Windows Server 2012 will be available in four versions, Microsoft also said that development of the Windows Home Server and Small Business Server platforms will be discontinued,
This is great! At the Worldwide Partner Conference, we announced a new offering that provides Windows Azure services (Web Sites and Virtual Machines) for Windows Server using System Center 2012 SP1
Details on how to get started on this are here: http://www.microsoft.com/hosting/en/us/services.aspx
We have two (I know we have many more than 2 really) gurus on Windows Server 2012 in Ireland, both Aidan Finn and Damian Flynn are Microsoft MVPs.
Aidan Finn has a load of short videos up on YouTube covering a lot of the neat features in Windows Server 2012.
Damian Flynn was speaking at TechEd Europe – two of his four sessions were recorded:
Deploying Private Clouds: Lessons Learned from the Windows Server 2012 TAP
Windows Server 2012 IP Address Management
And they have both just published a book! Microsoft Private Cloud Computing is available is both in Paperback and for the Kindle.