As noted in my earlier post about the availability dates for the 2012 R2 wave, we are counting the days until our partners and customers can start using these products. Today I am proud to announce a big milestone: Windows Server 2012 R2 has been released to manufacturing!

This means that we are handing the software over to our hardware partners for them to complete their final system validations; this is the final step before putting the next generation of Windows Server in your hands.

While every release milestone provides ample reason to celebrate (and trust me, thereís going to be a party here in Redmond), we are all particularly excited this time around because weíve delivered so much in such a short amount of time. The amazing new features in this release cover virtualization, storage, networking, management, access, information protection, and much more.

By any measure, this is a lot more than just one yearís worth of innovation since the release of Windows Server 2012!

As many readers have noticed, this release is being handled a bit differently than in years past. With previous releases, shortly after the RTM Microsoft provided access to software through our MSDN and TechNet subscriptions. Because this release was built and delivered at a much faster pace than past products, and because we want to ensure that you get the very highest quality product, we made the decision to complete the final validation phases prior to distributing the release. It is enormously important to all of us here that you have the best possible experience using R2 to build your private and hybrid cloud infrastructure.

We are all incredibly proud of this release and, on behalf of the Windows Server engineering team, we are honored to share this release with you. The opportunity to deliver such a wide range of powerful, interoperable R2 products is a powerful example of the Common Engineering Criteria that Iíve written about before.

Also of note: The next update to Windows Intune will be available at the time of GA, and we are also on track to deliver System Center 2012 R2.

Thank you to everyone who provided feedback during the preview process Ė we could not have done it without you!

I canít wait to share even more on October 18! In the meantime, keep an eye on this blog and Twitter for updates
.
Source: Today is the RTM for Windows Server 2012 R2! - In the Cloud - Site Home - TechNet Blogs