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Windows Server 2012 Certification – Thanks Microsoft!

For many Windows developers, a new Operating System release involves testing applications for compatibility. So with dreams of the shiny new Certified for Windows Server 2012 logo in mind, we eagerly started jumping through the usual hoops to prove that our professional applications are worthy of Microsoft’s latest and greatest.

The main phase of the certification process involves running the Microsoft Platform Ready Test Tool, an easy-to-use utility that installs your application and verifies that it “plays nice” with Windows. Usually we have no problems with this straightforward utility but after a fast start, we quickly ran into a serious roadblock:

Microsoft Platform Ready Test Tool Error

Apparently the tool will only run on a Virtual Machine on Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V with at least 4 cores! Our single-core VirtualBox deployed VM doesn’t cut it. OK. So how do we get a copy of Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V? And where will we find a spare quad-core computer to run it? And how long will it take to set up this utterly temporary environment? Suddenly my head is starting to hurt. Maybe we can live without the logo…

Certification remained in limbo for the next month but then the gods smiled on us. Out of the blue, a pleasant Microsoft representative called to find out if we were going to get our applications certified for Windows. I jumped at the opportunity to explain our problem, to which she promptly informed me that Microsoft would be happy to loan us a Hyper-V deployed VM for a few days. Say what? That is exactly what we need! I quickly signed up and week later, as promised, received the following email with the details of the VM:

Email from Microsoft

We raced to log in and completed the certification for three of our applications in less than 2 hours. Whew! The proverbial happy ending.

In closing, let me say a big THANK YOU to the folks at Microsoft for their new “VM loaner” program. We simply would not have been able to certify our applications without it. I surely hope that the program is still around when Microsoft gives birth to Windows Server 2014! 🙂

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