Windows Server

Windows Server is a group of operating systems designed by Microsoft that supports enterprise-level management, data storage, applications, and communications. Previous versions of Windows Server have focused on stability, security, networking, and various improvements to the file system. Other improvements also have included improvements to deployment technologies, as well as increased hardware support. Microsoft has also created specialized SKUs of Windows Server that focus on the home and small business markets. Windows Server 2012 R2 is the latest release of Windows Server, and focuses on cloud computing.

Windows Server Versions

The following table describes the current documented versions of Windows Server.

Server Version Description
Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2012
Emphasizes cloud support with features such as improved IP-addressing, updated Hyper-V, and a new file system (ReFS). Windows Server 2012 R2 includes enhancements to virtualization, management, storage, networking, virtual desktop infrastructure, access protection, information protection, web services, and application platform infrastructure.
Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2008
Includes a number of additional security and administrative features shared with Windows Vista: a re-written networking stack, improved Firewall, additional .NET Framework technology, and numerous improvements to the kernel, file, and memory systems.
Windows Server 2003 R2 and Windows Server 2003
Integrates a number of features from Windows XP. Includes improved networking installation and integration, improved web services, and increased capabilities for DTFS.

Other Windows Server SKUs

The following table describes the specialized versions of Windows Server.

SKU Description
Windows Server Essentials 2012 and 2012 R2
Continuation of the Small Business Server line, and focuses on a tight integration with the unified Management Console. Based off of Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2.
Windows Essential Business Server 2008
Designed for medium-sized businesses, for a maximum of 300 users, and focused on integration with the Management Console. Based off of Windows Server 2008.
Windows Small Business Server
Designed to be an integrated server suite for small-to-medium-sized businesses with no more than 75 users. Based off of Windows Server operating systems up to Windows Server 2008 R2.
Windows Home Server and Windows Home Server 2011
Designed for a home with multiple networked PCs, and emphasized file sharing, remote access, and automated backups. Based off of Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008 R2.

Windows Server Blog

Windows Server on TechNet