"Windows Server 2012 Essentials the ideal first server operating system for both small business and home use" all explained here:
with the meat and potatoes (good stuff) here:
Greater than >2TB volume support, continued bare metal restore abilities, still there. Hopefully more robust and faster.
Jul 5th 8:45pm ET Update:
Wow, $425, that's a lot if just used to backup friends and family PCs and laptops, which I would think were the typical usage for the PC enthusiast/influencer.
And wow, some pretty disappointed commenters over here:
and what Paul Thurrott says here:
UPDATE: Windows Home Server has been cancelled along with Windows Small Business Server Standard. Windows Server 2012 Essentials is indeed an update to Windows Small Server Essentials 2011, and is domain-only, so is not applicable to home users.
Even though this really is the end of the affordable Home Server product as we knew it, this could have been worse I suppose, there is some goodness in there:
Here's an excerpt from the FAQ:
Data Protection: Windows Server 2012 Essentials leverages several new features available in Windows Server 2012 to provide greatly improved data protection capabilities. The new Storage Spaces (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh831739.aspx) feature allows customers to aggregate the physical storage capacity of disparate hard drives, dynamically add hard drives, and to create volumes with specified levels of resilience. Windows Server 2012 Essentials can perform complete system backups and bare-metal restores of the server itself as well as the client computers connected to the network— now with support for volumes larger than 2 terabytes. New with Windows Server 2012, the Microsoft Online Backup Service (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh831419.aspx) can be used to protect files and folders in a cloud-based storage service that is managed by Microsoft. Windows Server 2012 Essentials also centrally manages and configures the new File History feature of Windows 8 clients, helping users to recover from accidently deleted or overwritten files without requiring administrator assistance.
Then again, what I don't see is Single Instance Storage (de-dupe of sorts), described here:
so we'll just have to wait, with baited breath, for the 500 page summary of features from Steven Sinofsky ;-)
My Home Server Discussion thread here:
Windows Server 2012 Essentials to replace Windows Home Server 2011?
RIP, Windows Home Server
Mary Jo Foley:
Microsoft confirms enthusiasts' fears: No more versions of Windows Home Server
If you wish to skip right to the part of "Windows Weekly 268: Paul Gets Served" where Windows Server 2012 Essentials is discussed, including domain login, it's 59 minutes and 37 seconds in.
If you use Pocket Casts on an iPhone, here's my link:
or just jump ahead in the web based mp3 playback here:
or with video here: