Microsoft starts rolling out 'Blue' previews of Windows Server, SQL Server

Microsoft starts rolling out 'Blue' previews of Windows Server, SQL Server

Summary: Microsoft has begun the roll-out of the preview versions of the coming 'Blue' versions of its core Windows and tools just ahead of its Build conference kick-off.

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Microsoft made available for download for Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) subscribers the promised preview builds of its "Blue" Windows Server and SQL Server releases.

Several MSDN subscribers said on Twitter they were downloading the Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter preview, as well as the SQL Server 2014 Community Technology Preview (CTP) 1 bits starting around 9pm this evening (ET).

Microsoft officials disclosed at TechEd North America earlier this month that the company planned to deliver previews of the next versions of Windows Server, SQL Server, Visual Studio, and System Center around June 26. June 26 is the date when Microsoft will also be making the public preview available of its Windows 8.1 (codenamed "Blue") client.

Robert McLaws, a .Net developer and chief technology officer of AdvancedREI, tweeted about the availability of the preview bits earlier this evening.

winserverblue2012r2

Programmer Addison Babcock, based in Edmonton, Canada, likewise noted the availability of the Blue server bits on MSDN this evening:

moreblueserver

Microsoft is rolling out previews of its upcoming client, server, and tools releases this week in conjunction with its Build 2013 developer conference. Build kicks off on June 26.

Microsoft is expected to share more about its vision and strategies for getting new and existing developers to write "Metro-Style"/Windows Store/Modern apps (take your pick of adjectives) during this week's show.

The final versions of Windows Server 2012 R2, System Center 2012 R2, and Visual Studio 2013 will be out by the end of calendar 2013, officials confirmed earlier this month. SQL Server 2014 will be out shortly after these two products, officials said. If Microsoft syncs up the arrival of its Blue servers with Windows Blue, which is highly likely, many of these products could be released to manufacturing by August 2013 (according to tipsters).

Windows Server 2012 R2 includes an updated Hyper-V hypervisor, among other new features. SQL Server 2014 includes integrated in-memory database technology, code named "Hekaton."

Update: Sounds like TechNet subscribers are also able to download the Windows Server 2012 R2 preview tonight, too. (Thanks @MGGJim.)

Update No. 2: In addition to the Windows Server 2012 R2 bits, TechNet subscribers also can grab the SQL Server 2014 CTP1 bits and System Center 2012 R2 bits. (Thanks @Windows4Live)

Topics: Windows Server, Microsoft, Windows 8

About

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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24 comments
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  • Microsoft starts rolling out 'Blue' previews of Windows Server, SQL Server

    Thats great if someone like Loverock Davidson dosn't leave a Telnet port open and they have to take the extra time compiling to close it.
    Over and Out
    • Nice try ...

      ... except that Telnet isn't even installed by default on Windows and is rarely installed at all on most Windows boxes.

      You'll have to troll better than that.
      bitcrazed
      • Well then,

        Please tell the same thing to Loverock Davidson when he says that about Linux. Taking your line and modifying it: "Nice try ... except that Telnet isn't even installed by default on Linux and is rarely installed at all on most Linux boxes."

        Linux_Forever is doing to Windows what Loverock Davidson is doing to Linux. Plain and simple. I think both are funny in that respect, deliberately spreading misinformation.
        benched42
        • The difference is

          that Loverock Davidson is living rent free in the head of Linux_forever. LRD doesn't even have to post anymore to get Linux_Forever (or others) all flustered. That is why he runs around every post ranting against LRD, even when LRD isn't posting in those discussions.

          I don't think he understands that is exactly what LRD wants.
          Emacho
      • And since when did this policy start - it was default open up to XP

        but I've not done enough installs with Vista and Win 7 to be sure about them.
        Deadly Ernest
        • It wasn't installed by default

          Starting with Server 2008 and Vista, over 6 years ago. The one on XP might have installed by default, I doubt it ran by default.
          sjaak327
          • No telnet server on XP.

            XP's Telnet server was *installed* by default, but never *enabled* by default. Unless you manually start the service, no amount of attempting to connecting via Telnet will work.

            XP has plenty of flaws, but not that.
            Mr_Q_
      • According to documentation

        The telnet server is no more in server 2012R2, you cannot even install it anymore. So you need to add a third party telnet server if you want one (cannot think of a single reason one would want it).
        sjaak327
    • You sound more and more

      like that idiot cloggeddbottom7 every post. Are you channeling him or something?

      I've noticed he's stayed away. Either he got smart, or ZDNet probably banned him since it was obvious he had no clue about what he was talking about. If you're going to channel, find someone less....ridiculous.
      William Farrel
  • Easiest way to install these is via Azure VM :)

    I've installed SQL Server 2014 CTP1 and Windows Server2012 R2 via Azure VM ;)

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/onlyawesomestuff/9130211733/
    liquidboy
    • +1

      Now here's a guy who gets the cloud.
      goombawa
  • Microsoft starts rolling out 'Blue' previews of Windows Server, SQL Server

    With Microsoft SQL Server you don't have to worry about compiling or having a telnet port open. Makes administration much easier.

    ZDNet: your filters suck.
    Loverock-Davidson
  • But are they going to correct their Enterprise pricing error?

    Enterprise license for 2008 was $15K. for 2012 $50k. That's not reasonable when all most people want is to make use of larger RAM.
    happyharry_z
    • Hey, when has ANY Microsoft pricing been reasonable since they went to

      Windows? The aim of the regular changes in Command Sets to make the older software not work with the newer versions of Windows is all about boosting revenue anyway, so why not boost the price up as well?
      Deadly Ernest
      • not true

        Ernest,

        We have customers running an application natively on win 7 and 8 -32 that I designed in 1979. There are still several thousand seats running that application. If you played by the (Microsoft) rules they delivered on the promise of compatibility.
        mswift@...
        • some will run in the VM they have in some versions

          like the one in win 7 enterprise and ultimate. Also, some programs designed to work with DOS and will work with the underlying DOS software in Windows and some programs designed to work with Visual Basic will do so as the VB code is basically the same in many versions.

          However, software built to work with earlier versions of Windows do NOT work natively with later versions of Windows due to changed command sets, that's why MS Office 97 and 2003 do NOT work in all versions Win Vista, Win 7 and Win 8; why games designed for Win XP do NOT work in all versions of later Windows.

          This issue is a deliberate marketing ploy and planned obsolescence by Microsoft to increase income from sales of other software and fees from developers. If this was NOT so, they would use the Industry Standard Command Sets they agreed to in the early 1990s and were part of Win 3 that were designed to allow all hardware and software to work on all software and hardware.
          Deadly Ernest
        • some will run in the VM they have in some versions

          like the one in win 7 enterprise and ultimate. Also, some programs designed to work with DOS and will work with the underlying DOS software in Windows and some programs designed to work with Visual Basic will do so as the VB code is basically the same in many versions.

          However, software built to work with earlier versions of Windows do NOT work natively with later versions of Windows due to changed command sets, that's why MS Office 97 and 2003 do NOT work in all versions Win Vista, Win 7 and Win 8; why games designed for Win XP do NOT work in all versions of later Windows.

          This issue is a deliberate marketing ploy and planned obsolescence by Microsoft to increase income from sales of other software and fees from developers. If this was NOT so, they would use the Industry Standard Command Sets they agreed to in the early 1990s and were part of Win 3 that were designed to allow all hardware and software to work on all software and hardware.
          Deadly Ernest
          • sorry, the system said it had an error and didn't accept

            so I resent it, seems the system doesn't know what it's doing all the time
            Deadly Ernest
          • hardware addressing

            That is because they chased performance by writing directly to hardware or used direct addressing. If a dev did not do that, a program compiled for x86 40 years ago runs untouched on 32 bit Win 7 or 8. The Vista re-writes were because MS started to enforce their long standing recommendation that you not update the registry outside of the installation process. That killed all programs that used the registry as an updatable storage location for a running application. We were told the rules by MS in the early 80s. Some of us listened.
            mswift@...
          • The command set instruction list changes are nothing to do

            with the points you mention above.

            Go back to the 1980s and before and every time you wanted to use a piece of hardware, either internal or external, you had to load a driver for that item that was sent from the manufacturer. That was because each used their own set of operation commands and you needed that to allow communication with the CPU etc. In the early 1990s there was a major International Conference (one of many) of which Microsoft was a part, many recommendations came out of those conferences, one of which was a software and hardware design outline structure and a set of Industry Standard Command Sets (ISCS).

            The concept was that all operating systems, applications, and hardware from then on would use the ISCS and any hardware and application would work with any operating system. This was applied, in the Windows world is was included in Win 3, but may have been in Win 2, not sure as I never used it. The result was any new hardware built to this standard was just attached and worked straight away as long as the other hardware and the software was designed to the same criteria. This worked as intended for a while.

            In writing Win 95 Microsoft stopped using the ISCS and used some of their own, thus they created the concept of 'out of the box compatibility with Win x' - and no drivers were needed if the hardware was designed to work with that version of Windows and NOT the ISCS, but if it was designed to the ISCS then you needed Windows drivers to be loaded. They had different command sets for Win NT, and again for Win 2000 which was reused for Win XP, and changed again for Win Vista. Thus hardware designed to be compatible with Win 9x needed drivers for later Windows, etc.

            All during this time Microsoft put pressure on hardware manufacturers to make things compatible with the current Windows out of the box, one of the issues with Vista was that a lot of the peripheral manufacturers did NOT do that for them, and they took their time writing drivers to be Vista compatible. Also, during all this time, any hardware designed to ISCS criteria just plugged and worked with Unix and Linux as they are designed to the ISCS criteria.

            It's the command set changes that creates the incompatibilities with software and hardware, and this is a deliberate action by Microsoft to force sales of newer software.

            There are a few command instructions where Microsoft use the International Standards simply because failure to do so would cause far too much hassle and they would get NO sales - they relate to keyboards, mice, hard drives, optical drives, USB devices, TCP/IP and a few other protocols where their proprietary ones have been pushed aside by almost all in the industry. If an OS did NOT work with the items above no one would buy it as it would be too hard to load, so MS have no option but to comply, but that's it.

            ............

            Some peripherals have extra capabilities beyond the basics and extra drivers are needed for them as they are not set out in the ISCS - such as some of the fancier graphics abilities, extra mouse actions on the mice with large numbers of buttons. But all the standard operations are there in the ISCS.
            Deadly Ernest