Microsoft's suite of enterprise products isn't about to let the consumer-facing ones steal the headlines. On the same day the Redmond, Wash. company announced the Release Preview of Windows 8, the company's enterprise and developer software arm announced the release candidates of .NET Framework 4.5, Visual Studio 2012 and Windows Server 2012.
Visual Studio 2012 and .NET Framework 4.5 are available for download by anyone by visiting the Visual Studio 2012 website, while Windows Server 2012 is available only to TechNet and MSDN subscribers by visiting TechNet.
This just in from Microsoft: Windows 8 release candidate won't be the only one coming your way in less than six weeks. Expect Windows Server 2012, too. "The Windows 8 Release Preview will be publicly available in the first week of June 2012", Microsoft's Jeffrey Snover says. "We plan to deliver a release candidate of Windows Server 2012 in the same timeframe".
Windows & Windows Live President Steven Sinofsky revealed the June RC for the desktop operating system earlier today in Tokyo. Concurrent Windows Server 2012 release candidate isn't surprising given the operating systems share common code and development has tracked closely all along.
Late this afternoon, after the closing bell, Microsoft revealed results for one of its most uncertain quarters in years. That's because Gartner and IDC report tepid PC shipments and Microsoft prepares to launch a horde of new products later this year, including new versions of Office, Windows and Windows Server, among others. Sometimes sales sag in the quarter or two before new product releases -- and for 2012 there are many core ones coming.
"With the upcoming release of new Windows 8 PCs and tablets, the next version of Office, and a wide array of products and services for the enterprise and consumers, we will be delivering exceptional value to all our customers in the year ahead", Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer says.
It's codename Windows 8 Server no more. Keeping with previous year nomenclature, Microsoft today officially announced Windows Server 2012, during its Management Summit in Las Vegas. Corporate vice president Brad Anderson also confirmed the software would ship later this year, another indicator Windows 8 is on track for autumn launch.
Microsoft tends to be very specific with products that have a year in the name. Windows Server 2008 got its name in Mid-May 2007. The company has some rules about nomenclature, and that one foreshadowed late-year release at best (the software launched in February 2008). The deliberate 2012 nomenclature signals Microsoft's confidence that the new Windows Server will ship this year and likely sooner than later.