Microsoft releases Windows Server 2012 Essentials to manufacturers


Software giant Microsoft has released its Windows Server 2012 Essentials product to manufacturers, putting it on course to go on general release at the start of November.

The SMB-focused product is the latest version of the Windows Small Business Server Essentials offering and has been hailed by Microsoft as a "significant milestone" in its bid to help more small businesses embrace cloud.

It allows users to choose between running apps on-premise and in the cloud, and also features integration with Microsoft's online productivity software suite Office 365.

The product's new Storage Spaces feature lets customers pool capacity from underused hard drives to create new storage resources and can be used to perform system backups and restores.

It also has the ability to keep tabs on its own performance, as well as the status of any client computers running Windows 7, Windows 8 and Mac OS X versions of 10.5 and above.

The company claims the beta version of the product has been downloaded more than 23,000 in two months.

Sinead O'Donovan, director of program management on the Windows Server Essentials team, said: "It is designed to help you protect business data, [securely access] the information you need from virtually anywhere and to offer the flexibility to choose which applications and services you want to run on-premises and in the cloud."

The general release of Windows Server 2012 Essentials in November come just two months after the full, enterprise-ready edition of the product went on general release.

At the time, general manager of product marketing for Windows Server and Management, Mike Schutz, told IT Pro Windows Server 2012 is the "cornerstone" of Microsoft's "cloud OS" strategy.

Jane McCallion
Deputy Editor

Jane McCallion is ITPro's Managing Editor, specializing in data centers and enterprise IT infrastructure. Before becoming Managing Editor, she held the role of Deputy Editor and, prior to that, Features Editor, managing a pool of freelance and internal writers, while continuing to specialize in enterprise IT infrastructure, and business strategy.

Prior to joining ITPro, Jane was a freelance business journalist writing as both Jane McCallion and Jane Bordenave for titles such as European CEO, World Finance, and Business Excellence Magazine.