During the Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto, Windows Server 2012 was a focus of attention, and it is nearing final release. It was announced that Windows Server 2012 will be released to manufacturing in the first week of August. The code will then be complete and we will begin delivering it to our hardware partners. After this the product will be generally available to our customers worldwide through multiple channels in September.

Windows Small Business Essentials becomes Windows Server 2012 Essential

Formalizing Essentials as a core edition of Windows Server 2012 will more clearly communicate how it fits into the Windows Server family and give it more visibility as a product. Windows Server 2012 Essentials has been designed to give the flexibility to choose which applications and services run on-premises and which run in the cloud.

In contrast to Windows SBS Standard, Essentials offers lower up-front acquisition and deployment costs. It allows you to take advantage of cloud-based messaging offerings while enjoying an integrated management experience.  This can be done by subscribing to Office 365 or a hosted Exchange Server on a second server (either as a physical or virtual machine) alongside Essentials with the same integrated management experience.

For more information on Windows Server 2012 Essentials, please visit: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?Linkid=257790

Try Windows Server 2012 RC

UPDATE

Windows Server 2012 has just been Released To Manufacturing! Visit this site to save the date for the launch event.