Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 RTM in Early Aug; General Availability by Oct End Announced

Microsoft at the 2012 Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto, shared some exciting new details regarding Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 -- that both upcoming Windows operating systems are nearing final release.Windows Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Financial Officer Tami Reller, confirmed that Windows 8 is on track to Release to Manufacturing (RTM) the first […]

Microsoft at the 2012 Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto, shared some exciting new details regarding Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 -- that both upcoming Windows operating systems are nearing final release.

Windows Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Financial Officer Tami Reller, confirmed that Windows 8 is on track to Release to Manufacturing (RTM) the first week of August. "For enterprise customers with Software Assurance benefits, they will have full access to Windows 8 bits as early as August," she said.

Also, note, that Windows Server 2012 will be released to manufacturing in the first week of August, Microsoft announced.

"The code will be complete and we will begin delivering it to our hardware partners. Then, the product will be generally available to customers worldwide through multiple channels in September," Microsoft stated.

Tami went on to say that Windows 8 will reach general availability by the end of October -- means that new Windows 8 and Windows RT PCs will be available to buy and upgrades will be available starting in October.

She also mentioned that that Windows 8 will be available in 109 languages across 231 markets worldwide.

Tami also announced a new milestone stating, "Windows 7 is the bestselling operating system in history - and that more than 630 million Windows 7 licenses have been sold to date - and the number of licenses sold keeps growing - and that more than half of enterprise desktops today are running Windows 7."

Microsoft also revealed that the pre-release versions of Windows Server 2012 has been downloaded more than 500,000 times - more than any other server from Microsoft before.

CEO Steve Ballmer, stated that the company was hoping to sell a "few million Surface PCs" in the coming year. "Ballmer said that according to estimates, there will be 375 million Windows PCs sold in the next 12 months."

Many of these should run under Windows 8, and a few millions of them are expected to be Surface tablet PCs, Ballmer also said. "Surface is one of the preeminent Windows 8 devices," he noted at the event.

Ballmer said. "With Windows -- Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, Windows Server 2012 and Windows Azure -- and Office 365, there's never been a better time to be a Microsoft partner. The opportunities for us to do amazing things for our joint customers have never been greater."

Tami also described the wave of ecosystem innovation coming with Windows 8 and demonstrated how Windows 8 is enterprise ready by design.

The server team just posted four new Windows Server 2012 virtual labs:

  • Getting Started with Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V Replication
    Asynchronous, application-consistent virtual machine replication is now built in to Windows Server 2012. It permits replication of Hyper-V virtual machines between two locations for business continuity and failure recovery. In this lab, you will learn how to configure and manage this technology.
  • Introduction to DirectAccess in Windows Server 2012
    DirectAccess gives users the experience of being seamlessly connected to their corporate network anytime they have Internet access. In this lab, you will learn how to configure this now easy-to-install technology and provide greater mobility and ease of access for your users.
  • Introduction to iSCSI Diskless Boot Deployment
    Windows Server 2012 can efficiently provide highly available iSCSI block storage for diskless network boot. In this lab, you will learn how to configure both the iSCSI target and diskless boot servers, enabling rapid deployment and network boot capability for commodity hardware.
  • Introduction to IIS 8
    IIS 8 in Windows Server 2012 provides many new features to support greater scaling, density, and performance for your web applications. In this lab, you will learn how to configure many of these exciting new technologies, including centralized certificate support, dynamic IP domain restrictions, and throttling.

Head on over to the Windows Server 2012 Virtual Labs webpage.

Also, available is a new ebook, "Introducing Windows Server 2012" here -- and Microsoft Cloud Self Assessment Tool, that helps to assess your Cloud Readiness based on your Priorities.

The tool will provide with a final report that provides you:

  • Assessment results of IT capabilities in the context of your business priorities and challenges
    Specific IT recommendations and improvements with the Microsoft private cloud
    Customized IT projects that are aligned to your business priorities
  • This tool is just a quick Assessment and does not replace a complete planning exercise to build a strategy how you can move to the Cloud, but nevertheless it is a good entry point.
  • Cloud Computing is not a product or solution we can implement, it is a strategy you build on and it requires People, Processes & Technology !

Get started with the self assessment tool here!

In other Windows 8 news,

Samsung is reported jumping aboard the Windows RT bandwagon as the company is planning on releasing a Windows RT-based tablet around the general availability of Windows 8.

"Samsung has made a handheld computer built on Windows RT, the first version of Windows that works on ARM technology, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans haven't been made public. Windows RT devices will be released in October, one person said," the report states.

The Samsung Windows RT tablet will feature a Qualcomm Snapdragon chip and allows for competition against Intel and AMD's chipset against new ARM-based competitors such as Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, and Nvidia.

HP had also recently announced that they will instead of a Windows RT-based tablet, will launch an Intel/AMD x86 tablet.