Lost a bit in all the Windows 8.1 controversy this morning,R2 has also hit the Release to Manufacturing, or RTM, milestone. Of course, that makes sense as Windows 8.1 and R2 are simply different versions of the same product.
"Today I am proud to announce a big milestone: Windows Server 2012 R2 has been released to manufacturing," Microsoft's Brad Anderson wrote in a post to the firm's In The Cloud blog. "This means that we are handing the software over to our hardware partners for them to complete their final system validations; this is the final step before putting the next generation of Windows Server in your hands."
You can find out more about the Windows 8.1 RTM in the article Microsoft Confirms Windows 8.1 RTM.
As with the client versions of Windows 8.1, which include both x86 and ARM (Windows RT) variants, this RTM milestone does not mean that any customers—even TechNet and MSDN subscribers—will be getting R2 ahead of its October general availability (GA) milestone. Instead, Microsoft will again hold back this release until it's actually finished.
"Because this release was built and delivered at a much faster pace than past products, and because we want to ensure that you get the very highest quality product, we made the decision to complete the final validation phases prior to distributing the release," Anderson explains. "It is enormously important to all of us here that you have the best possible experience using R2 to build your private and hybrid cloud infrastructure." Put another way, like Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2 is not actually "complete," regardless of the RTM milestone.
On a related note, Anderson also noted that a new version of the Windows Intune cloud management service would go live at the same time as Windows Server 2012 R2 GA in late October.