We are making two announcements today to provide additional choice and cost savings to customers using Infrastructure Services: Availability of Windows Server 2012 R2 in the image gallery and a price reduction for Memory Intensive compute instances.

Windows Server 2012 R2 in Virtual Machines and Cloud Services

Windows Server 2012 R2 is now generally available for customers to run in their own data centers and is available in the Windows Azure image gallery. Whether you are thinking of migrating your app to this newly released operating system or just want to check out the new functionality, it’s easy to get started by spinning the image up on Windows Azure. Customers looking for faster deployment times will enjoy approximately 30% faster deployments with this new image vs. the Windows Server 2008 R2 image (per internal testing results).

Today we are also making Windows Server 2012 R2 available as a guest operating system for web and worker roles as part of Windows Azure Cloud Services. 

Up to 22% Price Reduction on Memory-Intensive Instances

We’re also pleased to announce up to a 22% price reduction on memory-intensive compute instances across Windows, Linux and Cloud Services.

Memory-intensive instances are great for running applications such as SharePoint, SQL Server, 3rd party databases, in-memory analytics and other enterprise applications.  As the usage trend for adopting memory-intensive instances continues to grow, we are pleased to be able to meet customer demand with additional cost savings. This price reduction will take effect at the end of November.

For an overview of new capabilities in Windows Server 2012 R2 capabilities, please read the whitepaper on the topic. For more information on this announcement, check out Scott Guthrie's blog post.

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