Microsoft launches Windows Server 8 beta

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IT professionals can now download the beta of Microsoft Windows Server 8 in order to feed back to the software giant any issues or annoyances they'd, ideally, like sorted before the final version is released.

The beta follows a preview version of the new OS related last September and comes off the back off hot praise from those involved in the company's early adopter programme, according to Bill Laing, Microsoft's corporate vice president for server and cloud.

This is just a brief taste of the hundreds of features and capabilities you will find in the beta.

It's being dubbed a "cloud-optimised" OS by Microsoft, which is calling on the IT community to help road test new features and functions and feed back on whether it actually passes muster or needs further work.

Such new features include a new Hyper-V, which will allow different business arms or clients to make use of the same, shared infrastructure. There are also beefed up security, availability and disaster recovery capabilities on offer, according to Microsoft. Enhancements in this area include a File Server Transparent Failover to make it a much simpler affair to carry out hardware and software maintenance.

Automation is also a key consideration with the new server, with Windows PowerShell providing more than 2,000 commandlets to help IT professionals quickly and easily automate previously manual and time consuming tasks.

This is just a brief taste of the hundreds of features and capabilities you will find in the beta," Laing said.

"If you have been using and providing feedback on the developer preview of Windows Server "8," thank you! I can't wait for more people to start trying out Windows Server "8" and letting us know what they think."

Click here for our first look review of Windows Server 8 and here for our analysis of last September's announcement.

Maggie Holland

Maggie has been a journalist since 1999, starting her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. In 2006, just weeks before ITPro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of ITPro, she was appointed group editor of CloudPro and ITPro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for ChannelPro, in 2016.

Her areas of particular interest, aside from cloud, include management and C-level issues, the business value of technology, green and environmental issues and careers to name but a few.