I've had several emails today following last nights TechNet event - an Introduction to Windows Server 2003 R2. The most popular question by far is how can people get hold of it? The answer is on microsoft.com, where you can either register to receive an evaluation CD set or register to download (but bear in mind the downloads are not small). General availability for R2 is expected to be around Feb timeframe next year.
Windows Server 2003 R2 Evaluation Software Download Site
I've never understood why there is such a long delay between the "RTM" of a product and it's being available through regular channels.
Only recently (this week or last) was SQL Server 2005 available for download on the licensing site. Office Communicator STILL isn't available on the licensing site (though it is on MSDN).
The turnaround was a bit better for Vritual Server 2005 R2, but I still don't see why you can't release these products for EA & SA customers as soon as they RTM
Hi Robert. Yes, you're not alone in voicing those concerns. A number of changes are being looked at to make this kind of instant turn-around everyone wants happen. Unfortunately, there's many reasons including legal, licensing, channel etc which are just a nightmare to circumvent. Things will get better in the future, but sadly this is way out of my hands apart from relaying your feedback internally which I will do. How about also putting a feedback through www.windowsserverfeedback.com voicing your concerns too. The more voices they hear...
BTW - Just also want to clarify, but sure you're aware, MSDN software is for test/dev licensing only.
Yep I'm aware of the licensing issues with MSDN software. The lack of availability of a full version of Office Cmmunicator is the main reason we have been unable to move our Live Communications Server project past the pilot stage. The thing RTMed in June.
The turnaround for Virtual Server R2 was the fastest I can remember, available on the licensing site less than three weeks after RTM, I hope thats a sign of things to come. :)
I've detailed the install requirements & instructions on my blog
I need to purchase a 2003 Server licence now, if I do so will I be entitled to a free upgrade to R2 when it finally ships? I am UK based (if that makes any difference)
Ian - you will only get the R2 upgrade if you are covered by SA.
how do i give hint questions to reset password in AD, please advice
VInnudude - I don't know. The best place to start would be by posting a question on the Technet forums for Windows Server: http://forums.microsoft.com/technet/default.aspx?forumgroupid=161&siteid=17.