Windows Server 2012 Essentials (formerly known as Windows Small Business Server Essentials) is ideal as a first server for small businesses with up to 25 users. It provides a cost-effective and easy-to-use solution to help protect data, organize and access business information from virtually anywhere, support the applications needed to run a business, and quickly connect to online services for email and backup.

Windows Server 2012 Release Candidate Essentials enables small businesses to protect, centralize, organize, and access their applications and information from almost anywhere using virtually any device. Additionally, Essentials has the ability to grow as your business grows, providing an elastic solution that allows you to purchase and then perform an in-place conversion to Windows Server 2012 Standard if your business needs change over time.

You can use Windows Server 2012 Essentials as a platform to run critical line-of-business applications and other on-premises workloads, as well as to provide an integrated management experience when running cloud-based applications and services, such as e-mail, collaboration, online backup, and more.

With Windows Server 2012 Essentials, you can:

  • Protect and secure your business. The server’s intuitive user experience and powerful data protection features, such as full client PC backup, can simplify your life and help you focus on your core business.
  • Access your resources from virtually everywhere using almost any device. Empower your remote workforce with the freedom to work where and when they choose with an Internet connection and web browser.
  • Leverage the power and flexibility of cloud-based services on your terms. Windows Server 2012 Essentials helps you run your business operations, be more efficient, and enjoy competitive advantages by making it easier than ever to use and manage cloud-based applications and services, on-premise applications, or a combination of both.

Windows Server 2012 Essentials RC download

System requirements for Windows Server 2012 Essentials

CPU: 64-bit 1.4 GHz single core or 1.3 GHz multi-core (minimum) to 3.1 GHz multi-core (recommended) or faster processor.
Memory: 2 (minimum) to 8 (recommended) GB RAM or more
Disk: 160G disk space
Client OS: Windows 7, Windows 8, Mac OS X version 10.5 to 10.7