Amazon Web Services announced today that it will now offer virtual Windows 2012 server instances as part of its Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) service. Amazon Web Services’ Windows team General Manager Tom Rizzo—who until this June was Microsoft’s Senior Director for the Office and Office 365 teams, and had previously run Microsoft’s SharePoint team—revealed the addition of the Server 2012 platform in a post on the AWS team’s official blog.

As Ars found in our review of Windows Server 2012, the operating system has a number of advantages for cloud users over previous Windows Server operating systems, including better software-defined networking and improved remote configuration through PowerShell commands. Amazon is hardly the first to offer Server 2012 as a public cloud service—Microsoft’s Azure and a number of smaller cloud providers have had Server 2012 instances available since the operating system was released (and in some cases, before that). But there are a number of things that Amazon has done with Windows 2012 that are sure to draw attention from companies and developers looking to ease into using Server 2012 or go big right away.

One is Amazon’s support for Server 2012 in AWS’s Elastic Beanstalk, a service that automatically takes care of many of the deployment and capacity-provisioning aspects of deploying an application to the AWS cloud.  Amazon is also offering Server 2012 as part of its “free” tier of services as well—up to 750 hours of EC2 “Micro Instance” compute time per month, for up to a year. There’s also direct integration into Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 through the AWS Explorer

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via Ars Technica » Technology Lab http://feeds.arstechnica.com/~r/arstechnica/technology-lab/~3/Gr2MwZEA8-g/

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