November 1, 2012 News Thursday: Windows Server 2012 Essentials Generally Available Today, Windows Azure Powers Halo 4, and more Server and Tools News!


by STB Blogger

Windows Server 2012 Essentials Generally Available Today!
Microsoft is pleased to announce that today Windows Server 2012 Essentials for small businesses is generally available for purchase through volume licensing, retail and reseller channels.  Microsoft partners can now begin purchasing and implementing Windows Server 2012 Essentials for their small business clients, to help customers grow and simplify their path to the cloud with capabilities such as:

  • Built-in disaster recovery. Protection from fire, theft or flood. Even if hardware should fail, Microsoft’s online backup service helps keep data safe and secure in the cloud.
  • Consistent productivity. Quickly connect to the computers in the network and access all files and apps from virtually any location. Save time looking for scattered files, with the powerful and centralized data storage and sharing features.
  • Flexible cloud solutions. Choose the right solution for your needs, with seamless integration and centralized administration of cloud services, such as Office 365, and on-premises applications.

For more information about the product, please visit the Windows Server 2012 Essentials site.   Evaluations are available here.

Windows Azure Powers Halo 4
Announced earlier this week at //build/, Microsoft’s annual developer conference, the Halo 4 team utilized Windows Azure to support the game’s underlying infrastructure. According to a Microsoft News Center feature story, “The [Halo 4] team says Azure gives them a robust, cost-effective way to scale up and scale down as demand ebbs and flows across the globe.” Halo 4 will officially be released Nov. 6.
For the full story and interview, read the MNC feature story.

Build: Reimagining the “Other” Windows
This week at //build/, Satya Nadella, president, Server and Tools Business, took the stage to discuss how Windows takes developers across devices and into the cloud. In a supporting blog post, Nadella discussed the breadth of new updates and how Windows Azure is providing the critical backend capabilities developers need to create amazing new apps for Windows and Windows Phone. Nadella further shared how developers can use Windows Azure to build apps that scale to meet the demands of high traffic, reduce costs, improve development speed, and allow for flexible, on-demand app usage.

You can read more from Satya on the Official Microsoft Blog and see all the details about yesterday’s Windows Azure announcements here.

Microsoft’s Cloud OS to Expand to China
Following the recent launch of Windows Server 2012, the Windows Azure team has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)with the municipality of Shanghai today, along with a landmark agreement to license Microsoft technologies to 21Vianet. Specifically, Windows Azure services will be offered via a 21Vianet local datacenter. This will enable businesses in China to utilize multi-tenant public and private cloud services as part of Microsoft’s Cloud OS vision.

For more on this news, check out the Windows Azure blog post.