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In the buzz of the next version of Microsoft’s desktop operating system, Windows 8, an important Microsoft release sits in its shadow – Windows Server 2012. Often taken for granted, Windows Server is the keystone to many offices. We’ve had a peek at the release candidate for this new version, which sees a lot of improvements in function and efficiency. On the surface, the most striking difference is the server management interface – but there are are powerful capabilities under the hood.

The desktop environment has been stripped bare. That took some getting used to. In previous versions, the desktop looked much like any other workstation with a few extra options. The new interface has been designed to improve workflow. All dashboard menus are now oriented toward administrative functions. Previously, you had to navigate through the workstation elements to get to the administrative options behind it. My experience with Server 2012 gave the feel of a uniquely tailored environment for servers rather than a workstation with server options shoe-horned in.  Read more...