October 17 wasn't only the start of the general-availability rollout of Windows 8.1 and Visual Studio 2013. It also marked the beginning of the rollout of the latest updates to Microsoft's server wares.
Windows Server 2012 R2, Hyper-V Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials, System Center 2012 R2 and the updated Windows Intune (Wave E) all are generally available as of this week, too.
Microsoft is making free, 180-day trial versions of its latest server products available for download via its TechNet Evaluation Center. (The Windows Intune trial is free for 30 days.)
Microsoft also has made available a pre-built Windows Server 2012 R2 image in the Windows Azure Image gallery. The goal: To allow users to provision machines with the latest Windows Server release "in just minutes."
It also made Windows Azure Pack generally available. (It was in preview up until this week). Windows Azure Pack allows hosters and larger enterprise shops to run certain Windows Azure technologies in their own datacenters. The components in the Azure Pack include a management portal; service management programming interface; a Web sites service; a virtual machines service; and service bus support.
I've asked Microsoft when these updated server versions will be available in the Volume Licensing Center. No word back yet.
Update: Microsoft officials said the updated Windows Server and System Center versions are in the Volume Licensing Center as of October 17.
Microsoft released to manufacturing Windows Server 2012 R2 at the end of August 2013. The company allowed MSDN and TechNet subscribers to grab the RTM bits shortly after RTM (after user and developer outcry).
Here's more information on what's in the latest versions of Windows Server, Windows Intune (Wave E) and System Center: