Microsoft Ships Windows Server 2012
Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) cracked the figurative good luck champagne bottle on the bow of Windows Server 2012 on Sept. 4, sending it off for general availability pretty much in tune with the schedule it set at its Worldwide Partner Conference in July.
The Windows Server 2012 launch marks the beginning of a two-month stretch culminating in quick succession with the Oct. 26 Windows 8 and Surface RT rollouts, the Windows Phone 8 unveiling on Oct. 29 (according to reports), and finishing up with the vendor’s Build 2012 conference starting on Oct. 30.
Microsoft is plugging Windows Server 2012’s new virtualization capabilities, its facility with the vendor’s Windows Azure cloud platform, and the resulting business value, all of which is good for channel partners. In fact, the vendor pointed to its recent study of 70 early adopters worldwide indicating, on average, they expect a 52 percent decline in downtime, a 41 percent reduction in workload deployment time, and a savings of 15 hours a year in productivity time per employee.
At the online launch event, Satya Nadella, Microsoft president, Server and Tools Business, touted Windows Server 2012 as the “cornerstone of the Cloud OS,” pointing out the new-era operating systems must not only manage hardware and a platform for applications but also “include services and technologies that have not previously been considered part of an operating system.”
Windows Server 2012 will be issued in four editions: Datacenter, Standard, Essentials and Foundation. As noted by The VAR Guy, Windows Small Business Server and Windows Home Server aren’t on that list, which initially didn’t thrill channel partners, but probably accurately reflects the changing IT times as more SMBs transition to the cloud for services such as email and backup. Essentials, with a 25-user limit, offers channel partners suitable entry into SMB accounts.
Nadella said that in building the Cloud OS, Microsoft is focusing on four key areas:
- Transformation of the data center to bring storage, networking and computing into one platform.
- Offering APIs and runtimes for developers to build new applications for mobile, social and Big Data.
- Ensuring personalized services and experiences so any device can access a user’s data and apps.
- Any size or type of data, stored anywhere and processed in any style, must be accommodated.
“Based on our unique innovations in the most widely used operating systems, applications and cloud services, only Microsoft is able to offer the consistent platform that the cloud demands,” he said.