Microsoft Windows Server 2012 goes on general release

cloud in hands

Microsoft Windows Server 2012 has now gone on general release, with the software giant hailing the product's 375 new features and cloud readiness.

The product is being ushered in as a replacement for Windows Server 2008 R2 and is available in four different versions. These include an OEM, datacentre and SMB-focused edition.

Microsoft claims the pre-release version of Windows Server 2012 was downloaded 600,000 times worldwide and that 19,000 UK IT professionals have signed up for technical training on the product.

Speaking to IT Pro, Mike Schutz, general manager of product marketing for Windows Server and Management, said the product is the "cornerstone" of the vendor's "cloud OS" strategy.

The aim of this is to provide a consistent user experience across Microsoft's private, public and hybrid cloud platforms.

"The reason we have made such significant advancements [with this product] is because it directly aligns with some of the learning we have had by building and operating our big cloud services, such as Bing and Hotmail," he said.

To this end, the new product features a raft of Hyper-V, network virtualisation and automation enhancements compared to its predecessor.

"It's a big step forward...there is no workload or application that is off limits for virtualising now. We can support very large virtual machines, [of] up to 64 cores [and] a terabyte of memory," said Schutz.

"It is a really deep and broad release. There's a little something for everyone."

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.