Yesterday Microsoft launched Windows Server 2012, as we have talked about in the past there is no new version of Windows Home Server to go with it but there is Windows Server 2012 Essentials which recently got to the release candidate stage.

Windows Server 2012 is available on MSDN and Technet now along with the OEM Foundation version. Given how little use I am getting out of my self built Windows Home 2011 I am thinking of rebuilding it as storage server with either Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012.

On the Technet blog Microsoft have talked about Windows Server being part of a Cloud OS:

Today’s launch of Windows Server 2012 puts a spotlight on the transformational shift underway across the entire IT ecosystem. This transformation is being driven by an exponential growth of devices used for smarter, more personalized applications, which in turn create an explosion of data and the need for more computing power. It is a world of connected devices and continuous services, and it’s all powered by servers. 

This is leading to dramatic changes in how computing, storage and networking come together in scalable, automated, shared and adaptive platforms that deliver modern applications to power the world’s computing experiences. This is cloud computing.

There is a lot of jockeying in the industry around what the drivers and enablers are for this new paradigm. We believe that software will play the key role in this new era. Specifically, software value manifested as a new operating system for the cloud. 

In this context, we have set out to build the Cloud OS – a reimagined operating system that enables those smart, modern apps across a company’s datacenter, a service provider datacenter, or the Windows Azure public cloud. The Cloud OS does what operating systems have always done: manage hardware and provide a platform for applications. But it also expands to include services and technologies that have not previously been considered part of an operating system. The Cloud OS needs to bring together all the services required by end users, developers and IT to truly reap the benefits of the Cloud.

In building the Cloud OS, we are focused on four key things. First is the transformation of the datacenter. We want to bring together all of the resources provided by a traditional datacenter – storage, networking and computing – into one platform that scales elastically with an organization’s needs. Second is offering the APIs and runtimes to enable developers to create modern applications – for mobile, social and big data. A third important aspect of the Cloud OS is ensuring personalized services and experiences, so that any user on any device can access all of their data and applications. Lastly, data of any size or type, stored anywhere and processed in any style, must be a first-class citizen of the Cloud OS.

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