Windows Server 2008 R2 is the next version of Windows Server operating system from Microsoft, and the successor to Windows Server 2008 OS. Windows Server 2008 R2 is built and enhanced based on features and functionality of current Windows Server 2008. During development, Windows Server 2008 R2 has the codename of Windows 7 Server, which signify that its close inter-relationship with Windows 7, and almost equal to server edition of Windows 7.
Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 features with built-in web and virtualization technologies such as Hyper-V (formerly codenamed “Viridian”), which is now available with Windows Server 2008 Enterprise, Internet Information Server 7.0 (IIS7), Windows Server Manager, and Windows PowerShell in order to provide organizations with increased reliability and flexibility for their server infrastructure. New virtualization tools, web technologies, and security enhancements such as Network Access Protection and Read-Only Domain Controller together with Server Core installation option help save time, reduce costs, and provide readily harden OS to build platform for a solid yet dynamic datacenter or server farms, and powerful new tools offer more control over servers and streamline web, configuration, and management tasks in Windows Server 2008 R2.
Microsoft has just released Windows Server 2008 R2 Beta for free download by everybody in public. The build version of Windows Server 2008 R2 Beta is 7000.0.081212-1400, which is similar with Windows 7 Beta. Only English, German and Japanese languages edition of Windows Server 2008 R2 Beta will be made available via DVD ISO image online download. Editions for evaluation include Data Center, Enterprise, Standard, Itanium Based Systems, and Web (where the first editions are include in a same ISO image). VHD and other download formats will be available shortly.
The Windows Server 2008 R2 Beta is available for free download via Microsoft Download Center, or interested parties can download using the official direct download links below.
Windows Server 2008 R2 Beta Standard, Enterprise and DataCenter Edition (English) (2850.0MB)
Windows Server 2008 R2 Beta Web Edition (English) (2724.3MB)
Windows Server 2008 R2 Beta for Itanium Based Systems (English) (2512.2MB)
The Windows Server 2008 R2 Beta operating system can be installed and used without requiring any product activation or entering a product serial key as part of evaluation period, which lasts for 30 days. If you need more time to evaluate Windows Server 2008 R2 Beta, the initial 30 day evaluation can be extended to August 1st (at which time the OS will become inoperable) by entering the product key below for you selected edition.
Windows Server 2008 R2 Beta Product Keys for Evaluation
Windows Server 2008 R2 Beta Enterprise: TFGPQ-J9267-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX
Windows Server 2008 R2 Beta Standard: 2T88R-MBH2C-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX
Windows Server 2008 R2 Beta Datacenter: GQJJW-4RPC9-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX
Windows Server 2008 R2 Beta for Itanium Based Systems: CQ936-9K2T8-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX
Windows Web Server 2008 R2 Beta: GT8BY-FRKHB-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX
Update: Windows Server 2008 R2 RC ISO download and product key and Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 RC are now available.
While downloading the massive gigabytes of the DVD ISO image, it’s recommended to read some important beta documents: Installing the Beta Release of Windows Server 2008 R2 (link), Release Notes: Important Issues in this Beta Release of Windows Server 2008 R2 (link) and Things to Know About This Beta Release of Windows Server 2008 R2 (link).
If you intend to get a free copy of Windows Server 2008, there is hack to get free product serial key to activate Windows Server 2008.
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