Microsoft Server Essentials 2012 - what's the catch?

Just told SBS 2011 is now EOL from major distributor and need to move to 2012. Go figure.

I know I would be able to source 2011 if I need to.

However, happy to move with the times.

Hoping someone out there can give me a few one liners.

Does it work with XP, do I need a cloud subscription. Is it simply Windows 8 on Roidz?

Is there an R2 version? What is the difference? CALs needed? Exchange support?

Any info appreciated.
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The official website is full these answers, read through it all (quite a few PDF's)

In short, it will be a VERY basic server system. So, it will accept Win XP.
R2 will be coming out shortly. CALs are needed, just like any other Windows Server product. No Exchange included, so if you add it later, the price advantage you had in the SBS version is totally gone. They're trying to sell you Office 365 now anyway, there's an add-on for the server for that.
Cliff GaliherCommented:
Normally I would simply say that all of the answers you seek are already on Microsoft's website and I don't particularly like being redundant. However because a couple of the answers above were inaccurate, I will go ahead and answer your specific questions:

>Does it work with XP?

XP is *not* supported. So you use XP at your own risk. Of course XP extended support is also officially ending very soon, so you use it at your own risk anyways...

>Do I need a cloud subscription?


> Is it simply Windows 8 on Roidz?

No. It is Windows Server 2012 with some added features and some restrictions. Just like 2008 R2 was not Windows 7 on roidz, but was a purpose-built server OS.

> Is there an R2 version?

Yes, there is an Essentials 2012 R2 and it will launch the same day as all of the other 2012 R2 editions. In addition, 2012 Standard comes with an "essentials experience" role that adds the essentials features to server standard without the licensing restrictions.

> What is the difference?

too many to name.

> CALs needed?

The Essentials product has never needed CALs. 25 users and 50 devices can use the product and is included in the price. If you add another server, or use server standard in R2 and the essentials role, CALs are required.

> Exchange support?

Exchange is not included; this is not SBS. However the dashboard does indeed support integration with an on-premises Exchange 2010 or 2013 environment if you choose to deploy an Exchange server. Windows and Exchange CALs would (obviously?) be required in such a scenario.


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OxygenITSolutionsAuthor Commented:
Answer chosen for addressing my concerns.
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