Cloud Insights from Brad Anderson, Corporate Vice President, Windows Server & System Center
As some of you may have already noticed, earlier this morning Microsoft announced that Windows 8.1 will be available to consumers and businesses worldwide on October 18, 2013.
But before you start your 8.1 party (with a DJ in a data center, for example), there’s even more good news:
I'm excited to announce that, on the same day, eligible customers will be able to download Windows Server 2012 R2 and System Center 2012 R2, as well as the latest update to Windows Intune! We’ll make evaluation versions available through the TechNet Evaluation Center, and these products will be available for new purchases when they hit the price list on November 1st.
Is it a coincidence that this will be 501st anniversary of Michelangelo exhibiting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel for the first time? If you love great works of art, then it’s up to you to decide.
Just a few weeks ago I wrote about the common planning efforts and engineering milestones we shared during the development of this R2 wave – and seeing these products and services become generally available on the same day (with all their integrated scenarios!) is the ultimate benefit!
I encourage you to keep learning about the 2012 R2 releases via our “What’s New in 2012 R2” series on this blog, and also download the preview bits if you haven’t already done it.
Thanks for all the comments and questions. I'm going to answer these questions (in no particular order), and if there are any remaining questions after that, please don't hesitate to ask!
-- Regarding the questions about the Windows Server upgrade, this will be a paid release. Customers with active Software Assurance at the time of release to manufacturing will have rights to the software.
-- The paid upgrade refers only to the Windows Server license -- you do not have to re-purchase CALs.
-- TNS and MSDN subscribers (and those that have access to future versions based on their VL use rights) will get it via VLSC downloads on 10/18. The latest update to the Windows Intune service will roll out to existing subscribers.
-- For additional questions about availability, I encourage you to review the Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview page (www.microsoft.com/.../windows-server-2012-r2.aspx), and check out the FAQ. The FAQ (located here: download.microsoft.com/.../Windows_Server_2012_R2_Remote_Desktop_Services_FAQ.pdf) notes that this is just like other R2 releases we have done where our Software Assurance customers will receive licenses.
-- In the FAQ linked above it also notes that if you have active Software Assurance coverage on your current Windows Server licenses at the time of the Windows Server 2012 R2 General Availability, you will receive the following transitional license grants to Windows Server 2012 R2.
-- On the topic of Essentials, it is now just a role inside of Server Manager.
-- If anyone is interested in the Volume Licensing or Software Assurance aspects of this, you can learn more here: www.microsoft.com/.../default.aspx.
Does this mean the Server Essentials is dead? and we just purchase the standard edition, and install the role?
Really good news. Looking forward to see what kind of version this is.
Brad - can you please clarify
does this mean Server 2012 CALs are valid for Server 2012 R2 ???
Windows Server Essentials can still be purchased. After you purchase it, you then deploy/configure it from Server Manager. Essentials is predominately distributed pre-installed from our OEMs, but it is also available through VL. We anticipate seeing a number of Service Providers offering Essentials as a hosted service.
Client Access Licenses do not have to be repurchased to use with the 2012 R2 releases. If you purchased a CAL for Windows Server 2012 it can be used with 2012 R2.
Brad, will the Technet downloads of Windows 8.1 and Windows 2012 R2 ISOs include perpetual licenses for said software or will they be time limited? This really hasn't been made clear by anyone at MS.
Thanks in advance.
Comparing Windows 8.1 to a Michelangelo? Now that made me laugh.
EXCELENTE! AMEI A NOVIDADE! RECOMENDO; EU JÁ SOU USUÁRIA DO WINDOWS 8!
If you wait long enough (about 4-5 months), 2012 R3 will come up.
And there are some rumors that Windows 8.2, and DPM 2012 R3 will be released by the end of the year.
I am very anxious to get my next Microsoft Certifications... they will long last for sure.
I just bought a new dell tablet in windows 8. Will 8.1 be available and compatible with this tablet? I am quite frustrated with some of the problems I have had with this system and the touch screen
I have been waiting for this to be released. I am so excited!
You are not funny. (DJ - HAH) andwe are not so stupd as yo think.
You MUST make a better Win 8. And in8. it's a lt todo in the future. it's not perfect
Start button, but no menu. What's wrong with these people? Back in the old days, companies ask their customers what they wanted to see, instead of making products because they're motivated and jealous of Apple / Google's success. Microsoft is going down....down...down...
Windows 8 is a disaster across the board... 8.1 was a chance for redemption, but it seems Microsoft blew it. The simple return of the start menu would have gone a long way.
Regarding the downloads:
For TechNet Subscriptions:
A subscriber has access to the license for the length of his subscription.
For the Eval Center:
Evaluation bits may be used for a limited length of time, and that amount changes based on the product. For Windows Server 2012 R2, a user has 180 days.