While Windows Server 2012 reached the RTM stage of development at the same time as Windows 8 on August 1st, its small business and home office cousin, Windows Server 2012 Essentials, has just now reached that stage of development.
In a post on the official Windows Server blog, Microsoft said that the RTM version of Windows Server 2012 Essentials is now ready for evaluation by the company's hardware partners. The product will officially go on sale on November 1st and Microsoft says that server hardware companies will start to sell products with Windows Server 2012 Essentials pre-installed by the end of the year.
Microsoft is hyping up the software's various features, including how it can link to "Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 devices for a superior experience with rich modern 'My Server' apps."
While this software is designed for small businesses, it is also supposed to be the replacement for Windows Home Server, which Microsoft launched in 2007 but decided to discontinue earlier this year. Microsoft said it has already seen a lot of interest in Windows Server 2012 Essentials, stating, "In 8 weeks of public previews, we’ve had more than 23,000 downloads—far surpassing pre-release downloads of past versions." A trial version of the software is now available to download from Microsoft.
Source: Windows Server blog | Image via Microsoft