Microsoft announced on Wednesday that it has completed development of Windows Server 2012 and has released the product to manufacturing. Developed alongside Windows 8, Server 2012 shared the same development milestones as that product and was declared finished on the same day.

“I’m proud to announce that Windows Server 2012 has been released to manufacturing,” Microsoft distinguished engineer and Windows Server lead architect Jeffrey Snover wrote in a post to the Windows Server Blog. “That means the final code is complete and we are delivering it to our hardware and software vendor partners this week. We will also make the software available to our volume licensing customers in the next couple of weeks.”

Server 2012 will become generally available on September 4, about a month and a half before Windows 8. On that day, Microsoft will also host an online launch event in which it will detail many of the advances in this release and explain how customers can use Server 2012 to build their own private cloud infrastructures. Please visit the Windows Server 2012 Launch website for more information.

Microsoft previously announced that Server 2012 would be available via a greatly simplified product lineup that includes just two mainstream product editions, Windows Server 2012 Standard and Datacenter, and two other editions, the low-priced but versatile Windows Server 2012 Essentials and Foundation, the latter of which will be made available only via new low-end server hardware purchases.

I previously wrote a thorough write-up of the beta version of Server 2012 in "Windows Server "8" Preview (Unedited, Complete Version)." But I’ll be reviewing Server 2012 on the SuperSite for Windows in the weeks ahead.