Today is the RTM for Windows Server 2012 R2!

Today is the RTM for Windows Server 2012 R2!

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As noted in my earlier post about the availability dates for the 2012 R2 wave, we are counting the days until our partners and customers can start using these products. Today I am proud to announce a big milestone: Windows Server 2012 R2 has been released to manufacturing!

This means that we are handing the software over to our hardware partners for them to complete their final system validations; this is the final step before putting the next generation of Windows Server in your hands. 

While every release milestone provides ample reason to celebrate (and trust me, there’s going to be a party here in Redmond), we are all particularly excited this time around because we’ve delivered so much in such a short amount of time. The amazing new features in this release cover virtualization, storage, networking, management, access, information protection, and much more.

By any measure, this is a lot more than just one year’s worth of innovation since the release of Windows Server 2012!

As many readers have noticed, this release is being handled a bit differently than in years past. With previous releases, shortly after the RTM Microsoft provided access to software through our MSDN and TechNet subscriptions.  Because this release was built and delivered at a much faster pace than past products, and because we want to ensure that you get the very highest quality product, we made the decision to complete the final validation phases prior to distributing the release.  It is enormously important to all of us here that you have the best possible experience using R2 to build your private and hybrid cloud infrastructure.

We are all incredibly proud of this release and, on behalf of the Windows Server engineering team, we are honored to share this release with you.  The opportunity to deliver such a wide range of powerful, interoperable R2 products is a powerful example of the Common Engineering Criteria that I’ve written about before.

Also of note: The next update to Windows Intune will be available at the time of GA, and we are also on track to deliver System Center 2012 R2.

Thank you to everyone who provided feedback during the preview process – we could not have done it without you! 

I can’t wait to share even more on October 18! In the meantime, keep an eye on this blog and Twitter for updates.

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  • Congratulations! I do have a question about availability in Azure. Last year, it took a long time for the 2012 release to be made available on Azure virtual machines, cloud services, and websites. Additionally, no timelines or release dates were really communicated, which made planning difficult. Do you have any thoughts as to availability on Azure for 2012 R2, or at least a more open communication plan?  Thanks!

  • It isn't 100% clear in the blog post - are you saying that MSDN and TechNet subscribers will not have access to Windows 2012 R2 before 18th October?

  • with technet being phased out and msdn being a test/dev license, i'd still appreciate early access and don't see the quality impact for production systems. anyway, looking forward to 18th oct. grats on RTM!

  • You guys ain't even trying. Two blog posts on RTMs (this and 8.1) and you both give laughable excuses for not releasing the RTM builds to MSDN subscribers.

  • What are you achieving with not releasing to MSDN which is used by partners among others? If it is not stable enough, it can't be released to RTM and if it is, what does it help with by not releasing it to MSDN? Is this how you expect partners and Trainers to adopt and advocate for your newest releases?

  • What about folks with SA? I want to be putting the new version of Hyper-V into production level testing, which simply Microsoft doesn't allow most of us to do with the previews.  It was always stupid that folks with SA received everything later than MSDN/TechNet anyway.

  • I also cannot understand why you don't publish the downloads to the RTMs for Technet and MSDN before the rest of the public. Why do I pay for the Technet Subscription if i dont have the main advantage of early access. As an MCT the evaluation is very important for my courses. So whats your answer on that statement? Thanks.

  • I agree with the rest. It make no sense to not have access earlier than the end users. You should appreciate your  paying  partners with early access so they can help YOU sell YOUR product to end users.


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  • So you are basically saying you have finished a product which is not finished yet and you have to make hotfixes for it? So on Oct 18th we will have to download and install hotfixes on each new system. And how much data it will be? Hundreds of MBs like it is with Windows 8?

    I bet you have great reasons to celebrate!

  • For those who want testing enviro ... you can simply purchase normal license. I don't understand what is wrong with this ? Testing is part of production and you should be charged as for production license, or get fully paid Azure subscription and you are set.

  • > Testing is part of production and you should be charged as for production license, or get fully paid Azure subscription and you are set.

    No it is not. That is why there is TechNet subscription available to us for many years. Or at least it was available.

  • Releasing to developers and IT Pros for testing with third party and line-of-business applications IS a part of the "final validation phases". I can't help but predict that this will lead to a horde of people saying "don't install Windows 8.1 until service pack 1 comes out".

  • Hey Brad,

    great that the Windows 2012 R2 is now RTM , as of the other comments ?

    Where is the Beef ?!

    Why do I not find the windows 2012 R2 in my MSDN Account , did I got a downgrade or did I miss some blog concerning new chances to the MSDN Portal ?

    Please give us advice ?

    My Cloud is waiting ;)



  • Windows 8 offers a very different presentation than windows 7.  Too different.  Many of us who are professional IT workers (I've been a paid geek for 16+ years) have spent a lot of that time supporting Microsoft products, purchasing Microsoft products, advocating for Microsoft products, etc., at least in part due to our familiarity, expertise and comfort with them.  Now all of that is out the (pardon the pun) window.  Soon I will have to start buying systems that I have no idea how to use, let alone support.  The interface gives every appearance of being geared for media consumption, social media and other unproductive activities.  My users need to access enterprise grade server-based applications and get work done, not be distracted by time wasting trash like facebook.  Windows 8 seems like a nightmare for business.  I need a tool to allow people to focus on work.  Even if I can disable or remove the facebook, games, media player, etc. time wasting features how in the world do I work with this product?  In example; one of my critical line of business applications (which is not supported yet on Windows 8) typically requires that I configure or tweak an ODBC connection.  How do you do that on Windows 8?  Where are the tcp/ip settings if I run into a networking glitch?  Where are the user accounts/device management, etc?  It seems Microsoft has arbitrarily chosen to flush my 16 years experience down the loo just to try and mimic the "cool" kid across the street.  Instead of knowing how to do all of the simple tasks I am used to doing, I will have to research every little thing.  I hope they plan on spending 10 times what they used to spend on support since they just cut the legs off of us who used to shield them from 99% of the questions.  I really wish Microsoft would develop products based on keeping its existing market share happy, instead of trying to woo the non-Microsoft minority over to their side.  I have no intention of buying any Windows 8 systems for myself or the business concerns I purchase on behalf of.  I suspect that instead of growing their market position they have just annoyed a majority of their business and professional customers.  And the bad news for them is that the iPad kiddies are still going to buy Apple products, so they messed with the rest of us for no reason at all... all they can do is lose market share with this absurd OS.  I predict this will be the most avoided or unused Microsoft OS in the companies history - right up there with Microsoft Bob.