Final version of Windows Server 2012 Essentials released

In early October, Microsoft announced that the RTM version of Windows Server 2012 Essentials had been completed. Today, the company announced that the mall business and home office cousin to Windows Server 2012 is now available to purchase for the general public.

In a post on the company's Server and Tools blog, Microsoft said that this version of Windows Server 2012 will still allow its users to protect its data, even if the server hardware itself decided to shut down. The blog states, "Even if hardware should fail, Microsoft’s online backup service helps keep data safe and secure in the cloud."

Microsoft has also said that Windows Server 2012 Essentials will be able to link up to both Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8-based products via "My Server" apps.

This is a new product for Microsoft. It is the replacement for Windows Home Server, which Microsoft launched in 2007 but decided to discontinue earlier this year. A few years ago, the idea of a home server seemed like it would be a popular one but with more and more media being stored on cloud services, the need for a local server for media and data storage seems to be not as essential.

Source: Microsoft Server and Tools blog | Image via Microsoft

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18 Comments

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Good opportunity to remind Microsoft that they let the Home Server community down by killing the product that was available for home use at 49$ and replaced it with a product at 500$.

TheCyberKnight said,
Good opportunity to remind Microsoft that they let the Home Server community down by killing the product that was available for home use at 49$ and replaced it with a product at 500$.

Fortunately, LINUX is still free...

TheCyberKnight said,
Good opportunity to remind Microsoft that they let the Home Server community down by killing the product that was available for home use at 49$ and replaced it with a product at 500$.

Yeah, absolutely. The price disparity in particular is a real shame. I am going to be setting up a Home Server at the house and might go back to WHS...

Not a real good WHS replacement. I don't feel like dealing with domains as I have to all the time at work. WHS was fantastic. I ran this for a month in preview then blew it away and went back to WHS11 which is far better for home setup. And EFFFFF the price.

I have this running and have upgraded it to Standard 2012. As mentioned on a few sites you get most of the features for Server Essentials 2012 plus all the features of Standard Server 2012.

e.g.
Install Server Essentials 2012
Use SLMGR.VBS to install the Server 2012 Standard Key

You will lose Media Services but gain..... Hyper-V, WSUS, etc...

TechnoGuru said,
I have this running and have upgraded it to Standard 2012. As mentioned on a few sites you get most of the features for Server Essentials 2012 plus all the features of Standard Server 2012.

e.g.
Install Server Essentials 2012
Use SLMGR.VBS to install the Server 2012 Standard Key

You will lose Media Services but gain..... Hyper-V, WSUS, etc...

Do you get to keep PC backups and Remote Web Access?

scumdogmillionaire said,
Don't like for the Home Server replacement it forces me to use a domain.

I've been running it at home since RTM and I like the fact that it forces me to use a domain. It simplifies security and management of my PCs and the connector automatically converted the profiles from my existing user accounts over to my new AD accounts. The whole process was really simple.

Of course, if you really don't want to join a domain then there are work-arounds that will allow you to install the connector software without joining your PCs to the domain.

rdmiller said,
This replaces both SBS and Home Server. Now small businesses won't have to choose which one to use.

Hardly a replacement for SBS; no Exchange in Essential, and the price is ridiculous when compared with Home Server....

Fritzly said,

Hardly a replacement for SBS; no Exchange in Essential, and the price is ridiculous when compared with Home Server....

I think the assumption is that you'll use Office 365 rather than run your own Exchange Server. Whatever you think of that decision, this is the replacement for SBS.

jakem1 said,

I think the assumption is that you'll use Office 365 rather than run your own Exchange Server. Whatever you think of that decision, this is the replacement for SBS.

Yes this is what MS wants you to do; therefore if you like the "Cloud" it is a replacement, if you do not... it is not.

I'm running this on my home server now, its quite nice. Confused why it has no WSUS feature you can activate though, given that WSUS is free. Houses with a few pcs in it would benefit from that I think to save update bandwidth. As would small businesses who use this product.

Edited by Ryster, Nov 1 2012, 10:08pm :

TCLN Ryster said,
I'm running this on my home server now, its quite nice. Confused why it has no WSUS feature you can activate though, given that WSUS is free. Houses with a few pcs in it would benefit from that I think to save update bandwidth. As would small businesses who use this product.

Hm... That would have been a nice inclusion... Separate download maybe?

kcobra98 said,
I wonder if and when this will show up on DreamSpark.

Probably not as it never showed up on MSDNAA or DreamSpark with SBS 2008 came out for me. But, I assume it would depend on the contract your school has with MS.

briangw said,

Probably not as it never showed up on MSDNAA or DreamSpark with SBS 2008 came out for me. But, I assume it would depend on the contract your school has with MS.

I hear ya... I hope we get it added. At different times the DreamSpark Admin will activate the previous version of MS Office Pro for us students. So anything is possible.