Microsoft finalizes Windows Server Essentials 2012 small-business server

Microsoft finalizes Windows Server Essentials 2012 small-business server

Summary: Microsoft's Windows Server Essentials 2012 will be preloaded on servers from OEM partners before the end of the year.


Microsoft has released to manufacturing Windows Server 2012 Essentials -- the successor to Windows Small Business Server -- company officials announced on October 9.


Microsoft is now delivering the product to its OEMs. It should be generally available in "all channels" on November 1, according to a new blog post, with OEMs shipping preloaded servers running the new operating system before the end of calendar 2012.

A downloadable trial version is available for evaluation purposes as of October 9. Simon Bisson of ZDNet UK reviewed the beta of the product in July.

Windows Server 2012 Essentials is Microsoft's intended replacement for Windows Small Business Server and Windows Home Server (for those SMBs who were using WHS for business purposes). The Essentials product is a hybrid on-premises/cloud server. It will have a 25-user limit and sell for $425, Microsoft officials have said. Windows Server 2012 Essentials is one of four Windows Server 2012 flavors, with the other three being Foundation, Standard and Datacenter.

Among other features, Windows Server 2012 Essentials offers an on-site backup option with Windows Azure; cloud-based e-mail and collaboration (either using Office 365 or via a hosted service provider); and support for Storage Spaces disk-pooling.

Microsoft made the near-final Release Candidate (RC) test build of Windows Server 2012 Essentials available to testers in August.

Topics: SMBs, Microsoft, Servers, Windows


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Windows Server 2012 RFS File system details

    Can Mary Jo Foley, or one of the other Microsofties in ZDNet please provide more detail on Microsoft Server 2012 new "Resilient File System" that replaces the venerable NFS.
    Microsoft has become deaf and dumb to many technology industry requests to provide "technical" details on how this "new" File System differs from and is better than NFS.

    Recently it was reported and confirmed by Microsoft that negotiations were going on between them and Oracle for licensing Oracle/Sun Zettabyte File System or ZFS.

    What happened with those negotiations and or software license?

    If RFS is but a paper-over of NFS, windows Server users are in deep trouble for supplying a robust, secure and reliable operating system, which Windows 2008 could not do, at least in comparison to "enterprise" UNIX, FreeBSD and RedHat Linux.
  • start button

    is it available ?
    • Probably not...

      It ain't in the "regular" server additions.
  • A correction or two...

    I think you meant "off site with Azure" (and if you didn't please explain). Also I think Essentials is more a successor to both Small Business Server and Windows Home Server (in fact I plan to use it to upgrade my WHS).