When one normally thinks of installing a Microsoft OS from scratch, the typical time expectation is at least an hour or possibly more just to get the base OS up and running (even in a VM).
Well, Microsoft has definitely surprised us with the release of Windows Server 2012!
A typical Windows Server 2008 R2 installation inside of a VM (such as VMWare Workstation or VMWare Player) will take about 45 mins to 1 hour.
However, when installing Windows Server 2012 RC, I was able to get my system up and running in with a base OS installation in around 15 mins!
As most developers or administrators know, the longest part of the installation is typically the "Getting files ready for installation". I often wait 5-10 minutes or more just for the progress bar to go from 0% to 1% on Windows Server 2008 R2.
Well, Microsoft has done some super heavy duty optimizations in this area, because after roughly 5 minutes of the installation, the progress had already creeped along to 50% complete!
So while the "Metro-style" usability of Windows Server 2012 still leaves something to be desired, their superfast installations will definitely be a welcome new feature to most developers and system administrators. Installing an entire OS in 15 minutes or less will save oodles of time that most of us can use towards all of the various other tasks that we have to complete throughout the day!