Although the docs and the eval version of OpsMgr R2 have been released the actual production code will not be available until 1st July according to the Microsoft Product Team bloggers such as Justin.
1st July! Really? Well yes, even though the eval RTM bits (build no 7221) was made available on 21st May. So that is about 6 weeks. The question most people will ask (rightly) is why it takes so long to copy some files to the main download centres such as Select, TechNet Plus and MSDN?
I know a group of us went through the same questions with the release of MOM 2005. There is some process that is linked to the sending out of the DVDs which was a weak excuse 4 years ago and is pathetic now that even TechNet Plus can be bought “diskless”. There is also some legal process from what I can remember. Microsoft makes a big deal about process and MOF around the management products. It looks like someone at Microsoft needs to take a serious look at their own processes. In these days taking 6 weeks to release code which has RTMed is ridiculous as most people download and do not use the DVDs. More so as the quote at MMS was “availability in 30 days” and not just announcements. To most people that means the production bits. Come on Microsoft – get your act together. It is the 21st century now.
By the way don’t even ask your Microsoft team to cut you a DVD. It was possible to do that years ago but then Microsoft made it a dismissible offence.
According to the Upgrade Guide you can upgrade from the R2 eval or even to the R2 Release Candidate. You can not directly upgrade from a pre SP1 version. Kevin has a good post on his upgrade from SP1 to R2. If you want to go R2 before July the only option is to use the eval version and then do an upgrade when the production bits are out. Not very satisfactory. Can someone from Microsoft post an official and reasonable reason why it takes 6 weeks and will break the promise made at MMS?