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Windows Server 2012 Launches, Hyped as "Microsoft Cloud OS"

Server2012StartMicrosoft Windows Server 2012 is now live and in the wild! You can download a trial here. If you're interested in my first impressions—and in a few reasons why you might consider an upgrade, take a look at last week's Does a Windows Server 2012 Upgrade Make Sense? An in Depth Look. But in case you don't have the time, here's a quick recap of the Server 2012 highlights:


  • Windows Server 2012 Foundations (OEM only, one processor and 15 user limit, no virtualization support)
  • Windows Server 2012 Essentials ($425, two processor limit, no virtualization support, pre-configured, easy-to-setup—for small businesses with 25 users or less)
  • Windows Server 2012 Standard ($882 for first two processors + CALs, per-processor pricing scheme, two Hyper-V instance limit)
  • Windows Server 2012 Data Center ($4,809 for first two processors + CALs, per processor pricing, unlimited Hyper-V instances)

New and Upgraded Features

Microsoft is billing Server 2012 as the "Microsoft Cloud OS" in its most recent marketing literature. That's catchier than the Microsoft Hybrid Cloud and Virtualization OS—though slightly less accurate. Call it by whatever name you want, but Server 2012 is definitely worth taking a look at if you're hoping (or having) to migrate clients to a virtualized and/or cloud environment.  

Joseph Walker runs an IT consulting and computer repair business (and consults with other consultants, too). He's also been doing technical writing and IT industry reporting for the past five years in his spare time. He was a banker once upon a time in a city far away, but he didn't much like that. There's even more to his story, but biographer is sadly not one of the many hats he wears.