Windows Server 2012 R2 Released to Manufacturing

The forthcoming Windows Server 2012 R2 product has been released to manufacturers (RTM), Microsoft said on Tuesday, just days after Windows 8.1 also reached RTM.

"The amazing new features in this release cover virtualization, storage, networking, management, access, information protection, and much more," wrote Brad Anderson, corporate vice president of Windows Server and System Center, in a blog post Tuesday announcing the RTM. "By any measure, this is a lot more than just one year's worth of innovation since the release of Windows Server 2012!"

The RTM stage means Microsoft's original equipment manufacturer (OEM) partners can now access the Windows Server 2012 R2 bits for testing purposes before the product reaches general availability on Oct. 18.

Oct. 18 is a red-letter day for Microsoft; besides Windows Server 2012 R2, Microsoft is also expected to release Windows 8.1, System Center 2012 R2, an updated Windows Intune and Windows Embedded 8.1 Industry on that day.

Anderson indicated in his post that Microsoft is on track to deliver the Windows Intune update and System Center 2012 R2 on Oct. 18, though he did not say whether the latter is also in the RTM stage.

He also noted that unlike prior releases, the Windows Server 2012 R2 bits will not be made available to MSDN or TechNet subscribers before general availability. Previously, those stakeholders were allowed to access a product's RTM bits shortly after they became available to OEMs. With Windows Server 2012 R2, Microsoft seems to be anticipating making a few more tweaks to the product before it finally launches.

"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 explained. "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."

Microsoft is similarly withholding the Windows 8.1 RTM bits from TechNet and MSDN subscribers until the update becomes generally available.

About the Author

Gladys Rama (@GladysRama3) is the editor of, and, and the editorial director of Converge360.


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