Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions


Q: What is Windows Server 2012 Essentials?

A: The latest version of Windows Small Business Server, Windows Server 2012 Essentials is a flexible, affordable, and easy-to-use server solution designed and priced for small businesses with up to 25 uses and 50 devices that helps them reduce costs and be more productive. Windows Server 2012 Essentials is an ideal first server, and it can also be used as the primary server in a multi-server environment for small businesses. Windows Server 2012 Essentials enables small businesses to protect, centralize, organize and access their applications and information from almost anywhere using virtually any device. Additionally, Essentials has the ability to grow as your business grows, providing an elastic solution that allows you to purchase and then perform an in-place conversion to

Windows Server 2012 Standard if your business needs change over time. Customers can use Windows Server 2012 Essentials as a platform to run critical line-of-business applications and

other on-premises workloads, as well as to provide an integrated management experience when running cloud based applications and services, such as e-mail, collaboration, online backup, and more. In addition, Windows Server 2012 Essentials enables businesses to better protect their data through automated backup and restore capabilities, which provides the ability to recover from accidentally deleted or overwritten files, and to quickly recover and continue operations in the event of a disaster. And as business needs grow and change, Windows Server 2012 Essentials is able to grow as well, including the ability to perform an in-place upgrade to Windows Server 2012 Standard.

Q: Why did Microsoft create Windows Server 2012 Essentials?

A: There are roughly 36 million small and medium-size businesses (SMBs) worldwide with more than one PC, and many see IT as a strategic imperative to grow their business. SMBs are typically short on IT resources, but need powerful technology solutions similar to those used by even the largest companies. Building on the design philosophy of the current, award-winning Windows Small Business Server product, Windows Server 2012 Essentials provides small businesses with a flexible, affordable server solution that will help save time and money while significantly increasing employee productivity. Windows Server 2012 Essentials is the simplest way for small businesses to unleash the power of Windows Server 2012 and cloud-enable their IT.

Q: Why did Microsoft change the name of Windows Small Business Server Essentials to Windows Server Essentials?

A: Microsoft, along with its customers and partners, has enjoyed great success with Windows Small Business Server, and we are committed to continuing that success into the future. By formalizing Essentials as a core edition of the Windows Server 2012 family, we more clearly communicate how it is positioned in the market relative to the other Windows Server editions, simplify our messaging to our customers and partners, and increase the level of visibility of the product and its unique value for the small business market.