Windows Server 2012 Essentials reaches RTM

by Nigel Wilks on October 10, 2012 · 3 comments

in News

Microsoft have announced that the replacement to Windows Home Server, and Small Business Server has reached the final stage of Release to Manufacturing. You can download an evaluation copy here

Here’s what Microsoft had to say:-

Windows Server 2012 Essentials is a significant milestone in our efforts to help cloud-enable small businesses and home offices. It is designed to help you protect business data, to allow highly secure access to the information you need from virtually anywhere by using almost any device, and to offer the flexibility to choose which applications and services you want to run on-premises and in the cloud—we have even made it easier than ever before to run Essentials itself in a hosted environment. Excitement about the release of Windows Server 2012 Essentials has been growing. In 8 weeks of public previews, we’ve had more than 23,000 downloads—far surpassing pre-release downloads of past versions.

Today I am pleased to tell you that Windows Server 2012 Essentials has reached the release to manufacturing (RTM) milestone. We are delivering the product to our hardware and ecosystem partners, and it will be generally available in all channels on November 1, with OEM partners shipping server systems by the end of the year.

I would like to encourage you to try Windows Server 2012 Essentials for yourself by visiting the Evaluation Center today to download a trial copy—and if you’re an MSDN or TechNet subscriber, you can download Essentials from those sites as well.

Let me share some quick product highlights with you:

  • Enable a dynamic, modern work style with access from your devices by using Remote Web Access (RWA), and take advantage of Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 devices for a superior experience with rich modern “My Server” apps.
  • Enjoy peace of mind knowing that your data is well-protected by complementing your on-site backups with Windows Azure Online Backup, as well as utilizing integrated support for the new Windows 8 File History feature.
  • Choose the email and collaboration option that’s right for you, whether that’s in the cloud with Office 365 or a hosted service provider, or running on a local server.
  • Quickly and easily respond to increasing data capacity needs with support for Storage Spaces, which allows you to create elastic, resilient storage for your files and folders.
  • Run the line-of-business applications that you depend on by leveraging our greatly improved application compatibility, now with a single logo certification for all Windows Server 2012 editions.
  • Purchase with confidence knowing that your technology investment can easily grow to Windows Server 2012 Standard if the needs of your business grow.
  • Deploy today with full support for 19 languages, all releasing simultaneously.

Will you be making the switch from WHS V1 or WHS 2011?


Article by

I'm a Technical Architect based in the UK predominantly working on Windows Server and Active Directory based solutions. I'm also a Microsoft Windows Home Server MVP and moderator/author at I've released the FirePlay for Windows Home Server, WHS PHP Installer, MySql Installer for WHS and Wordpress Installer for WHS Add-Ins as well as co-author of the SanEncore and WHS Health Add-Ins with Alex Kuretz.


Brajesh October 10, 2012 at 8:35 am

Anyone know if HP EX495-like servers will be offered with WS 2012E pre-installed? Also, I assume we’ll be able to stream via SMB and NFS as we can with WHS v1, and that ‘Storage Spaces’ is now the replacement for DE.

Brajesh October 10, 2012 at 9:22 am

Another question I have is why not just get Windows 8 and use it as a home server with storage spaces vs. getting WS 2012E?

Nigel Wilks October 10, 2012 at 10:38 am

I havent seen HP announce they will be doing a server, but there will be some OEM’s stepping up soon. Streaming is native in the product the same as WHS.

Principal differences between Windows 8 and 2012 from a home perspective aside from the OS platforms would be the streaming, centralised backup, RWA etc. Of course, there are options to do those into Windows 8. But then that was the case for WHS.

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