Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview now publicly available

Ahead of Microsoft's BUILD 2013 developer conference in San Francisco, the company has posted the Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview for public consumption. Previously we reported that, as expected, the Preview brings back the Start button and introduces a few new options into the right-click context menu for the Start button, including Shutdown and Restart. With the public release of Server 2012 R2 Preview, now you can try these features for yourself.

A number of editions are available for the Preview, including Essentials, Developers, Windows Azure and IT Professionals, and they will expire on January 15, 2014. Head to the link below to get your download started and "put Microsoft's Cloud OS vision to work today".

Meanwhile, if you're hanging out for the client edition of the Windows Blue (8.1) Preview, check back later in the week when it'll be available to the public. We'll also be at Microsoft's BUILD 2013 conference this week, which starts on Wednesday where Microsoft is sure to reveal more details on Windows 8.1 and their vision going forward.

Download: Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview

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And what are you running it on? If anything, I have found it far from buggy, even compared to the RTM bits of Server 2012 and SQL Server 2012. What I'm running it on - Intel Q6600, 4 GB DDR2-800, 80 GB SATA HDD (boot drive and main server files). Software configuration - Server 2012 R2, System Center Operations Manager 2012 R2, SQL Server 2014 CTP1, with System Center VMM 2012 R2 and System Center Endpoint Protection (2012 R2) left to install.

runningnak3d said,
Good job MS! **** up your server OS as well. They have not only gone full retard, they have hit zombie retard.

What exactly did the screw up? Seems to work just like every other version of Windows Server I've used.

SharpGreen said,

What exactly did the screw up? Seems to work just like every other version of Windows Server I've used.

I actually had hope they would remove the metro crapware from their server OS. It would be nice if all MS server software could be administered from the command line -- but that just simply isn't the case. So, we still need a *minimal* GUI, not some effing start screen crap. Yes, I know it is a running joke around here about bringing back program manager, but I would take program manager over the fail that is metro.

runningnak3d said,

I actually had hope they would remove the metro crapware from their server OS. It would be nice if all MS server software could be administered from the command line -- but that just simply isn't the case. So, we still need a *minimal* GUI, not some effing start screen crap. Yes, I know it is a running joke around here about bringing back program manager, but I would take program manager over the fail that is metro.


Meet Server Core. The Windows Server install with minimal UI.

SHoTTa35 said,
I'm shocked people still don't know this exists. Get your PowerShell ready boys as that's where it's all done.

I am well aware that server core exists. Did you not read the part of my post that said: "It would be nice if all MS server software could be administered from the command line -- but that just simply isn't the case.". I probably should have been a little more clear -- I was not implying software from MS, I meant third parties. Hell, you can't even do an Oracle install on Unix, let alone Windows, without a GUI. Yes, in the old days you could -- now you can't. I guess it will get to the point where we have to use server core and hacking in explorer.exe from 2008 R2.

Actually, you can RDC into Server 2008 or later (including Server 2012) any of several different ways - from darn near any OS. The issue with each sort of connection is *security*, of course.

runningnak3d said,
Good job MS! **** up your server OS as well. They have not only gone full retard, they have hit zombie retard.

It will take me some time to go through all the evidence you have supplied to point out why MS screwed up this release. Next time, please do not post so many facts, links to benchmarks, expert opinions, white papers, etc.

/sarcasm

SirEvan said,

It will take me some time to go through all the evidence you have supplied to point out why MS screwed up this release. Next time, please do not post so many facts, links to benchmarks, expert opinions, white papers, etc.

/sarcasm

Reading comprehension for the win? No. I guess it was too much trouble for you to read the follow up posts, where I made it very clear how MS has gone full dumb****. But don't let me get in the way of you showing your blind microsoft love. I guess they used the Super Lube(c) on you as well -- didn't feel it go in?

runningnak3d said,

I am well aware that server core exists. Did you not read the part of my post that said: "It would be nice if all MS server software could be administered from the command line -- but that just simply isn't the case.". I probably should have been a little more clear -- I was not implying software from MS, I meant third parties. Hell, you can't even do an Oracle install on Unix, let alone Windows, without a GUI. Yes, in the old days you could -- now you can't. I guess it will get to the point where we have to use server core and hacking in explorer.exe from 2008 R2.

What are you talking about? Other developers not creating their applications configurable/installable from the command-line isn't Microsoft's fault. All of Microsoft's software can be installed from the command line, either providing options through a .mst file for their .msi install file or through the use of .msp modification files or .xml config files (Office etc).
As of Windows Server 2012 pretty much every task can be performed through PowerShell.

Downloading the VHD to run on my Server 2012 installation anyways. Should be good to test out and see what's coming. Don't like the sound of being so buggy though for a [u]public[/u] preview.

Downloaded at 7MB/s too so gonna play around with it later today

EDIT - In case you can't find the VHD password like I did, here: R2Preview!

Edited by Roger H., Jun 25 2013, 4:47pm :

I've found this to be quite a buggy Preview release. Preview versions in the past have been more stable than this one IMO.

It is. Leaked builds were very buggy and incomplete, this one feels just very buggy. Search sucks balls, snapped apps are glitchy, two start buttons and four desktops are certainly not user experience improvements Windows 8 was lacking.

Server 2008 and Vista shared code (in fact, that was the start of the great code merge between the desktop and server branches) - Windows 8.x and Server 2012 share far more code than desktop and server flavors of Windows have in the past - even when server versions (such as NTAS 3.1) were a great deal smaller.

I thought 2008 and Vista was the re-merge of the code since it split with XP and 2003? Before that at least on 2000 they were the same code base.

Grinch said,
Your comment seems off somehow. Heh.

I think I understand what he's saying. 2008 R1 was based on Vista and 2008 R2 was based on Windows 7. So naturally 2012 should have been based on Windows vNext.

There's also a typo there

Opps yup I meant 2012 at the beginning but like SharpGreen said. Server 2008 was based upon Vista, whereas 2008 r2 was based on 7. Thats why 2008 is mega crap compared to 2008 r2!

How large is the chance, that someone will figure out a way in the coming months, to upgrade this preview to the final build. I know it's not officially supported. I'd like to upgrade without reinstalling everything.

welp, managed to download the Chinese version..time to redownload, why it defaults to Chinese language is probably a mystery I'll never understand..

wingliston said,
Not working on my VirtualBox. I'm going to install physically on my test pc. http://i.imgur.com/59TPelL.png

Just so you know, you can download the VHD or VHDX version and boot those to either Hyper-V or directly on your physical machine.

VDH files can boot from the Windows 7-8.1 bootloader.
VDHX files can boot from the Windows 8-8.1 bootloader.

This lists the process to use BCDEdit to add a custom boot option for booting to VHD. Once you do it, you can boot between your physical disk host and the virtual disk host. Just beware, if you have full disk encryption going on anywhere, the VHD/VHDX file must not exist on that volume.

http://technet.microsoft.com/e...rary/gg318048(v=WS.10).aspx
http://technet.microsoft.com/e...rary/gg318051(v=ws.10).aspx

This is just one of many reasons I abandoned VMware vSphere and VMWare Workstation for Hyper-V.

Hmm if Windows Server 2008 R2 SP2 is coming, then that means the same for Windows 7, right? They had to release it for Windows 7, considering both of those share the same code base, NT 6.1.