Windows Server 2012 Release Candidate Now Available

While the newly-announcedWindows 8 Release Preview has been getting the bulk of tech press attention over the last few days, Microsoft has also reached a significant milestone in the development of Windows Server 2012 (formerly known as Windows Server 8), announcing yesterday that the Windows Server 2012 Release Candidate is now available for download.

In an announcement on the official Microsoft Windows Server Blog, Microsoft's Jeffrey Snover mentioned that the beta version of Windows Server 2012 had been downloaded more than 300,000 times. Snover also suggested that IT professionals test this latest release of the product in order to give Microsoft feedback before the final release.

"I encourage you to join the worldwide community of IT professional and developers who are already familiarizing themselves with Windows Server 2012 and gearing up take advantage of all it has to offer," Snover writes. "Thanks in advance for participating in this last opportunity to provide us with your feedback so we can deliver you the highest quality release." IT professionals can download the Windows Server 2012 RC from the TechNet Evaluation Center.

 jsnover
Jeffrey Snover, Lead Architect for the Windows Server Division at Microsoft

We've already posted dozens of articles about Windows Server 2012, most of which you can access from a Windows Server 2012 (formerly Windows Server 8) landing page we created a months ago. Michael Otey has posted an excellent summary of the most significant new features in the Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8 release candidates, and Paul Thurrott has posted what I'd describe as the mother of all Windows 8 release preview articles.

Elsewhere on the web, Samara Lynn from PC Magazine has an excellent story up about how the new Metro interface is presented in Windows Server 2012, while Rod Trent over at myITforum.com points out that the Windows Server 2012 RC can be downloaded in VHD form as well.

Here's some additional Windows Server 2012 coverage we've posted recently:

Are you trying out these latest releases of Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8? I'd love to hear what you think, so share your thoughts by adding a comment to this blog post or contributing to the discussion on Twitter.

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