Windows Server 2012 Essentials beta launched

Last week, Microsoft announced that it was going to discontinue its Windows Home Server product. Today, the company launched the first public beta for its intended replacement, Windows Server 2012 Essentials.

The download is now available from the Windows Server 2012 Essentials website. Microsoft is marketing the software mostly for small business users, saying, "Windows Server 2012 Essentials supports the applications you need to run your business and also helps you to quickly connect to additional cloud-based applications and services to extend your server’s functionality."

Microsoft launched Windows Home Server in 2007 in an attempt to get home owners to purchase media-centric server software and hardware. However, the home PC server market never really took off. The last major version of Windows Home Server was released in March 2011.

In its announcement last week about the new Windows Server 2012 Essentials, the company said:

" ... Microsoft is combining the features that were previously only found in Windows Home Server, such as support for DLNA-compliant devices and media streaming, into Windows Server 2012 Essentials and focusing our efforts into making Windows Server 2012 Essentials the ideal first server operating system for both small business and home use ... "

Thanks to Tommy for the tip!

Source: Windows Server 2012 Essentials webpage

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

TechSpot: The Best Gaming Graphics Cards at 1920x1200 & 2560x1600

Next Story

Android malware found and removed on Google Play

37 Comments

View more comments

zeta_immersion said,
Does it have Exchange in it?

Q: Will there be a next version of Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard?

A: No. Windows SBS 2011 Standard, which includes Exchange Server and SharePoint Foundation as component products, will be the final such Windows Server offering. Windows Server 2012 Beta Essentials has been designed to allow customers the flexibility to choose which applications and services run on-premise and which run in the cloud. With Windows Server 2012 Beta Essentials, customers can take advantage of the same type of integrated management experience whether they choose to run an on-premise copy of Exchange Server, subscribe to a hosted Exchange service, or subscribe to Office 365.

xendrome said,

Q: Will there be a next version of Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard?

A: No. Windows SBS 2011 Standard, which includes Exchange Server and SharePoint Foundation as component products, will be the final such Windows Server offering. Windows Server 2012 Beta Essentials has been designed to allow customers the flexibility to choose which applications and services run on-premise and which run in the cloud. With Windows Server 2012 Beta Essentials, customers can take advantage of the same type of integrated management experience whether they choose to run an on-premise copy of Exchange Server, subscribe to a hosted Exchange service, or subscribe to Office 365.

Yeah... on-premise copy of Exchange... Look at this link;

http://technet.microsoft.com/library/jj200172

According to Microsoft, you'll need;
1- One copy of Windows Server 2012 Essentials
2- One copy of Microsoft Exchange Server
3- One copy of Microsoft Server 2012... to install Exchange on it.

Flexibility to choose....

The only flexibility to choose I see is between "Yes" or "No". I won't be replacing our Windows SBS 2011 Standard before a looooooooooong time. Strange how I can get everything running under one server, one copy of Windows Server but with 2012, we need 2 servers running... Is it me who didn't get it ???

TH3ROOKIE said,
The only flexibility to choose I see is between "Yes" or "No". I won't be replacing our Windows SBS 2011 Standard before a looooooooooong time. Strange how I can get everything running under one server, one copy of Windows Server but with 2012, we need 2 servers running... Is it me who didn't get it ???

Its designed to run along as a VM or using Hyper-V.

Its main goal is to allow for cloud based integration, considering the new user limit of 25 alot of our companies will not be able to use this 'replacement' SBS edition

TheReaperMan said,
no exchange server, no sharepoint, it's not sbs.

No. But there are few options now.
We can go to a Standard Server, pay 800+ and have all the features that most small business wont use (but I do find attractive the hyper-v) or pay less, get basically the sme features, but have an easier setup on the Office 365 integration.

We are still considering the options to our clients on the future. Linux is an option now, but I guess we will stay on Windows and sell the bundled Office 365 solution.

Windows server is NOT a replacement for WHS... This is a small business version of windows server, not a home user version!

neufuse said,
Windows server is NOT a replacement for WHS... This is a small business version of windows server, not a home user version!

Not according to the FAQ....

Q: Will there be a next version of Windows Home Server?

A: No. Windows Home Server has seen its greatest success in small office/home office (SOHO) environments and among the technology enthusiast community. For this reason, Microsoft is combining the features that were previously only found in Windows Home Server, such as support for DLNA-compliant devices and media streaming, into Windows Server 2012 Beta Essentials and focusing our efforts into making Windows Server 2012 Beta Essentials the ideal first server operating system for both small business and home use

xendrome said,

Not according to the FAQ....

Q: Will there be a next version of Windows Home Server?

A: No. Windows Home Server has seen its greatest success in small office/home office (SOHO) environments and among the technology enthusiast community. For this reason, Microsoft is combining the features that were previously only found in Windows Home Server, such as support for DLNA-compliant devices and media streaming, into Windows Server 2012 Beta Essentials and focusing our efforts into making Windows Server 2012 Beta Essentials the ideal first server operating system for both small business and home use

I don't care what their FAQ says, they are just replacing SBS with Essentials minus SQL and exchange... that's basically all there is... all server editions support DLNA.. this whole thing is just a money grab

Its absolutely mental that they believe this is suitable for the Home User, its such a shame they have got rid of Home Server to be honest.

The price is mental for the average home user.

Shikaka said,
Its absolutely mental that they believe this is suitable for the Home User, its such a shame they have got rid of Home Server to be honest.

The price is mental for the average home user.


Home server is still available if oems want to bundle it with hardware.

Defcon said,
Where is the OEM version of Server 2012 Essentials. I believe that's the true alternative for WHS 2011.

Umm OEM or Retail versions make no difference in the OS, that's just the licensing model...

System Requirements:

CPU: 64-bit 1.4 GHz single core or 1.3 GHz multi-core (minimum)
to 3.1 GHz multi-core (recommended) or faster processor.
Memory: 2 (minimum) to 8 (recommended) GB RAM or more
Disk: 160G disk space

I detect a typo. Surely this thing doesn't really require 160GB of HDD space?!?

DJGM said,
System Requirements:

CPU: 64-bit 1.4 GHz single core or 1.3 GHz multi-core (minimum)
to 3.1 GHz multi-core (recommended) or faster processor.
Memory: 2 (minimum) to 8 (recommended) GB RAM or more
Disk: 160G disk space

I detect a typo. Surely this thing doesn't really require 160GB of HDD space?!?

after installing on a 50gb vm, it came back saying the minimum hard drive size is 90gb.

DJGM said,
System Requirements:

CPU: 64-bit 1.4 GHz single core or 1.3 GHz multi-core (minimum)
to 3.1 GHz multi-core (recommended) or faster processor.
Memory: 2 (minimum) to 8 (recommended) GB RAM or more
Disk: 160G disk space

I detect a typo. Surely this thing doesn't really require 160GB of HDD space?!?


I just tried installing it in a VM with a 20GB disk and it said it needed a minimum of 90 GB (note that it will install, but not allow you to log in and will restart, so it doesn't check the disk space until post-install)

DJGM said,
System Requirements:

CPU: 64-bit 1.4 GHz single core or 1.3 GHz multi-core (minimum)
to 3.1 GHz multi-core (recommended) or faster processor.
Memory: 2 (minimum) to 8 (recommended) GB RAM or more
Disk: 160G disk space

I detect a typo. Surely this thing doesn't really require 160GB of HDD space?!?

No that's right. WHS 2008 required the same space for partitioning purposes.

Darrian said,
Well, I got away with only 100 GB in my VM, of which only 8.86 GB is used, so no, it's not.

If you're talking about 2012 then that's great. But in WHS 11 (sorry I meant that vs. 08), I could. Ever figure out how to get around that.

Yes, I'm talking about 2012, that's what this topic is about. You need a minimum of 90 GB, not 160. That's 90GB after formatted, or 92,160 MB, not 90,000 MB, so I just made a 100 GB virtual HDD to make sure there was enough room. I don't know why you'd have less than 1TB outside of a VM these days anyway, unless you're using a SSD.

DJGM said,
Accoring to the download page, the official product key is:

M4YNK-GV7CR-GPDCP-4KKJX-2YPP2

guess I missed that. ****ing cd-keys

Commenting is disabled on this article.