Microsoft starts making its latest updated server wares generally available

Microsoft starts making its latest updated server wares generally available

Summary: Microsoft is rolling out the updated versions of Windows Server, System Center, Windows Intune and delivering complementary Windows Azure updates for the general public.


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:

Windows Server 2012 R2 and System Center 2012 R2: What's inside?

What's the latest on Windows Intune Wave E

Topics: Cloud, Microsoft, Windows Server


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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  • VLSC

    All the R2 apps / servers are available for download on the VLSC site. They were added early yesterday morning.
  • Windows 8.1 Update Installation

    Yesterday morning, I logged onto my five month-old Toshiba Lap Top only to find nothing but a blank blue screen with the words: "HARD DRIVE FAILURE". Staples ran a thorough system's check (19 hours!). Nothing! Hard Drive Failure. Still under warranty, I called Toshiba. Concluding it to be a total loss (some rare idiosyncrasy), they directed me to send it backto them for refurbishment or replacement, at my expense, via Fed Ex. Long story short, this morning, just for "shits and giggles", I decided to power her up just to see "what's what". I thought I was witnessing a miracle!! It all came back...with one caveat: to access any of my files, email, websites etc., I HAD to "Install" and "Update" the software for Windows 8.1. What??!! Google, Microsoft, and believe it or not, Adobe, all mandated that their "Agreements" be read, in depth first (two separate, incredibly mind boggling legal contracts using terms such as "international intellectual property law", "Digital Millennium Copyright Law", "aggregate liability", "Robustness and Compliance Rules", "Adobe's Source Code Handling Procedure", etc.) I was thereafter referred to as the "sublicensee". In the end, if I did not agree to install "Windows 8.1" subsequent to electronically signing their legally binding contract ( giving them the right to view, access, and share with subsidiaries any and all of my personal information) then they would remotely crash my hard drive. Don't get me wrong. I LOVE 'Windows 8'. And back when 'Google' was simply one of many search engines, I stayed loyal to the core and used only them/it. Eventually, 'Google' became a verb in the English language. ("What does that mean? I don't know. Let's Google and find out.") Quickly becoming the "only game in town", no one seemed overly concerned until Microsoft (out of nowhere) bought out and crushed 'Hotmail'. Seemed odd at the time. Soon afterward, Microsoft and Google were interchangeable. This team took "rocket science", high tech, cutting-edge capabilities, and made them easily understandable, accessible and affordable. We were mesmerized. Empowered! At what cost? Even then, as it was happening, we knew. We're Americans. Who better to understand 'Quid Pro Quo'? Definitely well worth it. Until today. For me anyway. The last chapter in George Orwell's, "1984" has officially arrived.
  • And meanwhile...

    ... IBM is putting $1B into Linux enterprise.