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Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview download links have just gone live over at Microsoft’s TechNet Evaluation Center so you can now go ahead and get testing. As well as that, there are also preview builds of SQL Server 2014, and you can catch all of the details after the jump!

Prior to any major Windows release, there’s always this period in which unfinished builds are released to the development world. Not only does this give app builders an idea of what they need to tweak in order for their utilities to remain compliant with future versions, but it also allows for bugs and lingering issues to be discovered and quashed before the GM.

Win Server 2012 logo

Windows 8.1, codenamed Windows Blue, would seem, based upon its name, to be a rather rudimentary upgrade from last October’s Windows 8, but as has now been established, Microsoft has put quite a bit of effort in an attempt to tweak and tailor the general user experience.

As well as the Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview builds and SQL Server 2014 Community Technology Preview (CTP), which are also becoming available via TechNet and MSDN, Microsoft is planning to release a Windows 8.1 public preview later on this week at its BUILD conference. In fact, Microsoft officials let slip at TechEd North America earlier on this month that previews of Windows Server, SQL Server, Visual Studio, and System Center would be available around June 26th along with the public preview, and with the first two on that list now out in the wild, we anticipate further updates in the coming hours.

Although Windows 8′s general reception has been decidedly mixed, Microsoft’s decision to publicly release the developer preview at the beginning of last year (followed later by the consumer and release previews), was seen as a favorable one, and with the company appearing to have listened to the requirements of its users with the changes made here with Windows 8.1, it’s likely the public preview will go down just as positively.

As many of you will already be aware, the BUILD developer conference kicks off tomorrow, and we shall, of course, have everything you need to know covered right here at Redmond Pie, so stay tuned!

Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview build can be grabbed officially for testing purposes from Microsoft TechNet Evaluation Center.

With Windows Server 2012 RTM download available since September of 2012, it’s a good idea to jump the gun and give Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview a shot.

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