Jeremy Anderson of www.thirdtier.net just posted this to another list and I’m linking it here:
Official Link to download the new beta.
I’ve posted some installation screenshots on my blog. At first sight this just seems exactly the same as the SBS 2011 Essentials product, but based on the Windows 2012 platform.
I’ll tinker around with it later with it to see if I can discover anything new under the hood.
I just installed the beta, I’m calling Windows Server 2012 Essentials WSE 2012, it’s just easier.
I realize there are a few limits to WSE 2012, like the 25 user limit, and some enterprise stuff removed. I was playing with adding new server roles and noticed the Hyper-V role isn’t there. That makes sense, it wouldn’t be a good idea to run VMs on top of WSE 2012. I noticed that that management tools for Direct Access aren’t there. Too bad, I was hoping to test it out but I realize this is more an of enterprise feature. Well it was, now that it can be done with a single NIC I think it will be much easier to use for small businesses too. Hopefully if a customer chooses to upgrade and remove the specific WSE 2012 limits, Direct Access will be allowed.
One role I was VERY surprised to see missing was the Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) role. I thought okay, no big deal I’ll just download and install WSUS 3.0 SP2 on my own. I fired up the install and it was blocked saying the program has compatibility issues and to “click here” to get more help online. Well clicking the button did nothing. I’m very curious why WSUS isn’t included as a role and what this incompatibility issue is. WSUS 3.0 runs just fine on Server 2012 Standard, and the role shows up along with other roles in server manager. I installed the .Net 3.5 framework on WSE 2012 and then tried my WSUS install again but the result was the same. Very curious indeed.
Okay, well it seems Direct Access is possible. Thanks to James for pointing that out in my post on the TechNet forum.