PR release:   Microsoft unveils what’s next for SMB IT:

New Orleans – June 3, 2013

At TechEd North America 2013, Microsoft announced that Windows 2012 R2 Essentials is no longer the Red Headed Step child of Server land but is an actual role on Windows 2012 R2 Standard and DataCenter editions.

In a statement by Server & Tools Corporate Vice President Brad Anderson, he stated “I can’t WAIT until I can run Remote Web Access on our DataCenter edition of Windows 2012 R2.  I’ve been asking for this ability for YEARS!  Essentials and RWA rock and will be a key building block to bring easy password synchronization between an on premises server and Office 365 and hosted email for small to medium firms.  If you still want to deploy it as the red headed step child that you know and love as it’s own separate SKU, you can still do that, but now, you can do like I do and deploy Datacenter edition and enable the Essentials role so that I can have RWA available to larger deployments as well.   Iain MacDonald is stoked that he’ll be able to demo remote printing through the RWA portal on stage without the demo failing!  Look for more details as well as being able to kick the tires on the bits at the end of June when we release the public preview at the BUILD conference.”

For more information, sign up to be informed about a public preview at

For more on this topic, check out the third tier blog post as well

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