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Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

March 1, 2012 at 9:10 AM

Windows Server 8 beta available for download

Coming on the heels of the launch of Windows 8 Consumer Preview, Microsoft also announced that the beta version of Windows Server 8 is available for download as well.

In the beta, there’s a new version of Hyper-V and new capabilities for multi-machine management and automation, among other features, according to the official Windows Server Blog post.

Among the reactions to the Windows Server 8 beta:

  • Jason Perlow at ZDNet writes: “In 2012, VMware continues to be the primary x86 virtualization platform for large enterprises and its position as industry leader in that space seems secure. But sometime at the end of this year, presumably summer, when Windows Server 8 is released to the public along with their new consumer desktop OS, this time things may very well be different.”
  • Sean Gallagher at Ars Technica says: “Windows Server 8 … is really the first version of Microsoft’s server OS to be built with virtualization and cloud deployments in mind. While Windows Server 2008 may have been the first to support Hyper-V, it and the rest of Microsoft’s enterprise services weren’t designed for Hyper-V environments from the ground up. In Windows Server 8’s case, virtualization of servers is a fundamental reason for some of the biggest architectural changes it features–such as the new architecture of Active Directory’s Domain Services, which makes it easier to virtualize domain controllers and to script configuration of Active Directory tasks for quick deployment to the cloud.”

The beta follows the developer preview version of Windows Server 8, which was released in September.

The beta can be downloaded here.

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