If back in January 2009 the public availability of Windows 7 Server preceded that of the Windows 7 client, with the Release Candidate
development milestone the Builds are up for grabs in parallel. The RC Build of Windows Server 2008 R2 is now available for download
from Microsoft. At the same time, the Redmond company has not, at least not at the time of this article, discontinued the downloads of Windows Server 2008 R2 Beta.
MSDN and TechNet subscribers have already been able to download Windows Server 2008 R2 Release Candidate (RC) since April 30. May 5 simply marks the availability of the public downloads of the next iteration of Windows Server.
“This software is for evaluation and testing purposes. Evaluating any version of Windows Server 2008 R2 Release Candidate software does not require product activation or entering a product key. Any edition of Windows Server 2008 R2 Release Candidate may be installed without activation and evaluated for an initial 30 days. If you need more time to evaluate Windows Server 2008 R2 Release Candidate, the initial 30 day evaluation can be extended to March 1, 2010 (at which time the OS will become inoperable) by entering the product key below for your selected edition,” the Redmond company informed.
All Windows Server 2008 R2 editions are available for download from the software giant with the adjacent product keys that testers can turn to for activation. The bits have been packaged as ISO images that will have to be burnt on DVD in order to be installed. Starting with this release, Microsoft is no longer offering Windows Server for 32-bit architectures. Windows Server 2008 R2 comes only in 64-bit and Itanium flavors. The 64-bit version of offered in English, Spanish, French, Japanese and German, while the Itanium Edition is localized only in English, French, Japanese and German.
Windows Server 2008 R2 Release Candidate Enterprise
Product Code : Q7Y83-W4FVQ-6MC6C-6QQTD-TPM88
Windows Server 2008 R2 Release Candidate Standard
Product Code : V4KRB-QDWK2-GVT4X-BV4XG-34TV4
Windows Server 2008 R2 Release Candidate Datacenter
Product Code : WXGKX-XXW8X-P8KTJ-PFX7T-DPYYW
Windows Web Server 2008 R2 Release Candidate
Product Code: RBBKH-BVD6B-74FV9-RYPJ7-TCFXB
Windows Server 2008 R2 Release Candidate Itanium Edition
Product Code : MW6C7-2MYCB-PF3DK-VCQ2W-XGWFP
Windows Server 2008 R2 Release Candidate (RC) is available for download here