Coincident with the start of Tech Ed Europe, Microsoft on Tuesday made preview versions of Windows Server 2012 R2, System Center 2012 R2 and SQL Server 2014 available for download. These solutions will ship in final form in late 2013 or early 2014 and are part of Microsoft’s “Blue” wave of product updates that also includes Windows 8.1 for Windows 8 and RT.

The Window 8.1 Preview will be available on Wednesday, and I will be posting an enormous number of Windows 8.1 “hands-on” articles tomorrow morning as a result. For now, however, let’s see what’s happening on the server side.

Here are the downloads.

Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview

At the heart of the Microsoft Cloud OS vision, Windows Server 2012 R2 brings Microsoft’s experience delivering global-scale cloud services into your infrastructure. Windows Server 2012 R2 offers exciting new features and enhancements across virtualization, storage, networking, virtual desktop infrastructure, access and information protection, and more.

System Center 2012 R2 Preview

System Center 2012 R2 captures Microsoft’s experience building and operating large cloud services to deliver a comprehensive cloud and datacenter management solution across your on-premises environments, hosting service providers, and Windows Azure. System Center 2012 R2 is currently in preview to support product evaluation.

SQL Server 2014 Preview

Microsoft SQL Server 2014 builds on the mission-critical capabilities delivered in the prior release by providing breakthrough performance, availability and manageability for your mission critical applications. SQL Server 2014 delivers new in-memory capabilities built into the core database for OLTP and data warehousing, which complement our existing in-memory data warehousing and BI capabilities for the most comprehensive in-memory database solution in the market.