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purchasing and installing Windows 2012 r2 and differences between the previous win server 2012 version

Are there any differences or limitations windows server 2012 standard - R2  compared to the previous original windows 2012 standard version (as we can longer purchased the windows server 2012 (originally release)

We are looking to replace our sbs 2003 server. it currently runs our emails and file systems.

Could we purchase a new windows server R2 standard edition 2012 as our local domain / file server and then sign up to office 365 so that we can migrate / move our email data to the office 365 system?

Would this work in the same way and reliably on the 7 office pcs that we have?

eg could internal office users share calendars etc if office 365 is in the cloud?

Is there anything else we would need to consider if we had all of of our core data locally on the windows server 2012 but the email hosted in the office 365 environement?
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phoenix81
Asked:
phoenix81
1 Solution
 
Svet PaperovIT ManagerCommented:
There is no reason to purchase the original edition of 2012. Windows Server 2012 R2 has several significant improvements (you can find all about that in TechNet site http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn250019.aspx) and no limitations regarding 2012. Moreover, the prise of Standard edition has not been changed (not true for Datacenter edition).

However, if you buy it via Open License, you will have downgrade rights to 2012, 2008 R2, and 2008. Please, read the Licensing Datasheet at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/server-cloud/products/windows-server-2012-r2/default.aspx, Buy section.
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Seth SimmonsSr. Systems AdministratorCommented:
You won't be able to use 2012 R2 in your environment as a domain controller as it doesn't support 2003 domain controllers.

The Windows Server 2003 domain and forest functional levels are deprecated.  When you deploy Windows Server 2012 R2 into an existing Windows Server 2003 environment, you will be notified to move to a newer functional level.

Features Removed or Deprecated in Windows Server 2012 R2
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn303411.aspx
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phoenix81Author Commented:
thank you
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