In my last post, I went over how those planning to switch to Windows 8 can best prepare for the conversion. However, in addition to Windows 8, Microsoft will also be gearing up to release Windows Server 2012.
My prediction is that (assuming the server is clear of any last-minute bugs), the two will be released within a month of each other. Some are even saying that they will be released on the exact same day. On June 4, Windows Server 2012 came out of its beta stage, and Microsoft made the first release candidate available for those that want to participate in the evaluation of the release.
But while discussions and previews of Windows 8 have dominated the media spotlight for the past year, Windows Server 2012 hasn’t caught much mainstream interest. However, our IT and enterprise customers have tapped me several times looking for more information on it. So today, I’d like to share the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Windows Server 2012:
1. Should customers planning on moving forward with both Windows Server and Windows 8 install them in any particular order?
The answer is no. They can move piecemeal. They could even upgrade Windows Server first, wait a year, and then go to Windows 8. As long as an older version of Windows is still supported, they can still run it and shouldn’t see any problems.
2. What is the most important thing to watch out for during these updates?
My advice is to treat this as if it were any other update. Do this by making sure that all the applications running on the desktop are going to be compatible.
3. The slogan for Windows Server 2012 is “every app to any cloud.” What effect will Windows Server 2012 have on the private cloud?
Well, it will make the cloud easier to manage for even the smallest of our customers. In fact, it can basically produce a private cloud by itself. There’s definitely going to be symmetry between on-premise installations and any cloud-based solution. I anticipate a seamless interface between those two, whereas before we might have seen more of a login-type scenario. Overall, Windows Server 2012 will provide users with a common identity and management framework, giving enterprises with highly secure and reliable cross-premises adequate connectivity.
4. The Windows 8 previews showed that users will be able to choose between the Metro interface and the traditional Windows interface. Will those options be available on Windows Server 2012?
Judging by the Windows Server 2012 release candidate, it looks like Metro will be the exclusive interface. This might take some additional adaptations on the user’s part.
Of course, there’s a lot more that can be said about this after the product has been evaluated by a significant number of users. In the meantime, if organizations are interested in participating in evaluating the release candidate, they can download the operating system by registering on the Windows Server 2012 website.