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Windows Server 2012 Essentials: Screenshots

Microsoft has done a lot to simplify the server experience in Windows Server 2012 Essentials, which mixes both business and consumer features.
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Metro start screen

Unlike the full-blown Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 Essentials boots up into the Metro Start screen, prepopulated with tiles for the Desktop, IE — and oddly, the Windows Store.

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Lock screen

The Windows Server 2012 Essentials lock screen is Metro all the way, with clear typography and easy-to-see system notifications.

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Dashboard

The Dashboard is where you'll configure and manage your server and your users. A setup checklist helps you get a system ready for users, and helps ensure that a server is ready to be taken live.

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Media server

Fancy an office playlist, or want to use Windows Server 2012 Essentials as a home server? There's a built-in media server to stream stored media to PCs or over the web.

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Applications

As well as the Metro Windows Store, you can install existing Home Server 2011 and Windows Server 2011 Essentials applications from the Microsoft Pinpoint marketplace.

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User account

Adding new users to a Windows Server 2012 Essentials network is as easy as clicking a button and filling in a form. If you've set up directory federation with a cloud service like Office 365, the process will also automatically provision email and collaboration services.

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Office 365

Setting up directory federation with Office 365 can be complex, but Essentials simplifies the process, giving you a wizard that sets up the connection and configures domain names appropriately.

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Storage Spaces

Storage Spaces give Windows Server 2012 Essentials a simple-to-setup resilient file system, using the Windows 8 wizard rather than the more complex tools that ship with the full Windows Server.

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Storage Spaces tools

Once set up, you can use the Storage Spaces tools in Windows Server 2012 Essentials to control how files are stored in a pool, and to add additional disks if necessary.

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