July 02, 2012, 7:42 AM — It may feel like a wolf chasing you through the woods at night -- yet another Windows Server migration closing in on its prey. This is one migration you'll want to look at very closely before trying to pull it off. It's a great time to start serious evaluation, since the Windows Server 8 beta has graduated to the Release Candidate stage and its full and final name: Windows Server 2012. And yeah, the Metro GUI stuck.
I'll do the Metro GUI dance in a bit, but first things first. Not much has changed since the beta, which is great on two levels: First, it means a stable code progression -- a bunch of tweaks would have implied depth coding at the post-beta stage, which is never good news. Second, it means all the cool features that have us excited about Windows Server 2012 will stay in the final release, not disappear in a late-stage dose of reality.
[ Also on InfoWorld: Windows Server 2012: All the coolest features | TechEd 2012: The key insights for Windows admins | The 10 best new features of Windows Server 2012 | Download the Windows 8 Deep Dive PDF special report | Stay abreast of key Microsoft technologies in our Technology: Microsoft newsletter. ]
Installation is even smoother than at the beta stage. Back then I had some driver difficulties with the late-model Dell server on which I was doing a clean installation. This time, I ran it as a virtual machine in VMware Workstation 8 on an HP Envy 15. I screwed the pooch on the first installation, but then I came across a great blog post on installing Windows Server 8 beta on VMware and found it works just as well for the RC iteration.