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Windows Server
DeveloperMicrosoft
Source model
Initial releaseJuly 27, 1993; 30 years ago (1993-07-27)
Latest release21H2 (10.0.20348.2461) (May 14, 2024; 19 days ago (2024-05-14)[1]) [±]
Latest previewvNext (10.0.26212) / May 8, 2024; 25 days ago (2024-05-08)[2]
Update method
Default
user interface
LicenseTrialware, SaaS, or volume licensing
Official websitewww.microsoft.com/windows-server

Windows Server (formerly Windows NT Server) is a group of server operating systems (OS) that has been developed by Microsoft since 1993. The first OS that was released for this platform is Windows NT 3.1 Advanced Server, an edition of Windows NT 3.1. With the release of Windows Server 2003, Microsoft started releasing new versions under the name Windows Server. The latest release of Windows Server is Windows Server 2022, which was released in 2021.

Microsoft's history of developing operating systems for servers goes back to Windows NT 3.1 Advanced Server. Windows 2000 Server is the first OS to include Active Directory, DNS Server, DHCP Server, and Group Policy.

History

This section needs expansion with: Each subsection as each is quite short or has nothing. You can help by adding to it. (February 2024)

Windows NT Server 3.x

Main article: Windows NT 3.1

Windows NT 3.1 Advanced Server was released on July 27, 1993[citation needed] as an edition of Windows NT 3.1, an operating system aimed towards business and server use. As with its Workstation counterpart, Windows NT 3.1 Advanced Server was a 32 bit rewrite of the Windows kernel that retained a similar use interface to Windows 3.1. Unlike the latter, however, Windows NT 3.1 Advanced Server was a complete operating system that did not need to be run from DOS. Windows NT 3.1 Advanced Server, like its Workstation counterpart, featured new features such as multiuser support and preemptive multitasking.[3] In 1994, Microsoft released Windows NT Server 3.5. It introduced TCP/IP and Winsock support integrated into the operating system, alongside the ability to use FTP. It also supported VFAT.[citation needed]

In 1995, Microsoft released Windows NT Server 3.51, an update to Windows NT Server 3.5, which added NTFS compression and support for the PowerPC architecture.[citation needed]

Windows NT Server 4.0

Main article: Windows NT 4.0

In 1996, Microsoft released Windows NT Server 4.0. It added the new user interface introduced in Windows 95 the previous year. In addition, it dropped support for the PowerPC, Alpha, and MIPS architectures. Microsoft updated Winsock to version 2 and IIS 2.0 and FrontPage are included.[citation needed]

Windows 2000 Server

Main article: Windows 2000

Windows Server 200x

Main articles: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Server 2008 R2

Windows Server 201x

Main articles: Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2016, and Windows Server 2019

Windows Server 202x

Main article: Windows Server 2022

Members

Main releases

Main releases include:

Traditionally, Microsoft supports Windows Server for 10 years, with five years of mainstream support and an additional five years of extended support. These releases also offer a complete desktop experience. Starting with Windows Server 2008, Server Core and Nano Server configurations were made available to reduce the OS footprint.[13][14] Between 2015 and 2021, Microsoft referred to these releases as "long-term support" releases to set them apart from semi-annual releases (see below.)

For sixteen years, Microsoft released a major version of Windows Server every four years, with one minor version released two years after a major release. The minor versions had an "R2" suffix in their names. In October 2018, Microsoft broke this tradition with the release of Windows Server 2019, which should have been "Windows Server 2016 R2". Windows Server 2022 is also a minor upgrade over its predecessor.[15][16]

Branded releases

Certain editions of Windows Server have a customized name:

Semi-Annual releases (discontinued)

Following the release of Windows Server 2016, Microsoft attempted to mirror the lifecycle of Windows 10 in the Windows Server family, releasing new versions twice a year which were supported for 18 months. These semi-annual versions were only available as part of Microsoft subscription services, including Software Assurance, Azure Marketplace, and Visual Studio subscriptions,[26] until their discontinuation in July 2021.[27][26]

The semi-annual releases do not include any desktop environments. Instead, they are restricted to the Nano Server configuration installed in a Docker container,[14][26] and the Server Core configuration, licensed only to serve as a container host.[14][26]

Semi-Annual releases include:[28]

Annual releases

The Annual Channel was first announced on July 2023, with the first version being released on September the same year. Unlike the Semi-Annual releases, each Annual Channel release would receive six months of extended support in addition to the 18 months of regular support. Annual releases are made available every twelve months, hence the name. Datacenter is the only edition available.

Annual releases include:[33]

Upcoming releases

Upcoming releases include:

See also

References

  1. ^ "May 14, 2024—KB5037782 (OS Build 20348.2461)". Microsoft Support. Microsoft.
  2. ^ "Announcing Windows Server Preview Build 26212". Microsoft Tech Community. May 8, 2024. Retrieved May 27, 2024. when reporting issues please refer to "VNext" rather than Windows Server 2022 which is currently in market.
  3. ^ "30 years of Windows Server". TECHCOMMUNITY.MICROSOFT.COM. Retrieved February 27, 2024.
  4. ^ "Windows Server 2003 – Microsoft Lifecycle". Microsoft. March 8, 2008. Retrieved August 19, 2021.
  5. ^ "Windows Server 2003 R2 – Microsoft Lifecycle". Microsoft. March 8, 2008. Retrieved August 19, 2021.
  6. ^ "Windows Server 2008 – Microsoft Lifecycle". Microsoft. Retrieved September 25, 2012.
  7. ^ "Windows Server 2008 R2 – Microsoft Lifecycle". Microsoft. Retrieved September 25, 2012.
  8. ^ "Windows Server 2012 – Microsoft Lifecycle". Microsoft Support. Microsoft. January 2012. Retrieved October 10, 2012.
  9. ^ "Windows Server 2012 R2 – Microsoft Lifecycle". Microsoft.com. Retrieved December 27, 2018.
  10. ^ "Windows Server 2016 – Microsoft Lifecycle". Microsoft Support. Microsoft. Retrieved December 7, 2016.
  11. ^ "Windows Server 2019 – Microsoft Lifecycle". Microsoft Support. Microsoft. Retrieved August 19, 2021.
  12. ^ "Windows Server 2022 – Microsoft Lifecycle". Microsoft Support. Microsoft. Retrieved August 19, 2021.
  13. ^ "What is Microsoft Windows Server LTSC (Long-Term Servicing Channel)? – Definition from WhatIs.com". SearchWindowsServer. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  14. ^ a b c "Windows Server – Semi-Annual Channel (SAC) vs Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) – Thomas Maurer". Thomas Maurer. November 19, 2017. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  15. ^ Sommergut, Wolfgang (August 24, 2021). "Windows Server 2022 released: Overview of new features". 4sysops. Archived from the original on August 24, 2021.
  16. ^ Foley, Mary Jo (August 20, 2021). "Microsoft's Windows Server 2022 is rolling out to mainstream users". ZDNet. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on August 22, 2021.
  17. ^ "Windows Storage Server Lifecycle (EOL)". EndOfLife.Software.
  18. ^ "Windows Server IoT 2019 for Storage". Microsoft.com. Retrieved August 10, 2022.
  19. ^ "Windows Server IoT 2022". Microsoft.com. Retrieved August 10, 2022.
  20. ^ Christensen, Elden (March 25, 2022). "Hyper-V in the 2022 Wave". Microsoft Tech Community. Self-published.
  21. ^ "Hyper-V Server". Search Product and Services Lifecycle Information. Microsoft. Retrieved September 2, 2021.
  22. ^ "Windows Small Business Server 2008 Technical FAQ". Windows Server Essentials documentations. Microsoft. December 14, 2010 – via Microsoft Docs.
  23. ^ Thurrott, Paul (September 3, 2011). "Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials". Supersite for Windows. Penton Media. Archived from the original on September 27, 2011. Retrieved September 26, 2011.
  24. ^ "Windows Essential Business Server". TechNet Archive. Microsoft. February 7, 2012 – via Microsoft Docs.
  25. ^ "Deploy the Azure Stack HCI operating system". Azure Docs. Microsoft. October 22, 2021.
  26. ^ a b c d "Windows Server servicing channels". Windows Server Library. Microsoft. July 5, 2022. Archived from the original on July 13, 2022.
  27. ^ "Microsoft to retire semi-annual Windows Server updates, will move entirely to LTSC releases". Neowin. July 28, 2021.
  28. ^ "Windows Server". Windows Server Semi-Annual Channel. Microsoft. Retrieved February 19, 2022.
  29. ^ "Windows message center: Windows Server, version 20H2 has reached end of servicing". August 9, 2022. Archived from the original on August 10, 2022.
  30. ^ "Windows Server release information". docs.microsoft.com. Archived from the original on August 9, 2022. Retrieved August 10, 2022.
  31. ^ "Windows 10, version 20H2 and Windows Server, version 20H2". docs.microsoft.com. Archived from the original on August 9, 2022. Retrieved August 10, 2022.
  32. ^ Popa, Bogdan. "Microsoft Retires Windows Server Version 20H2". news.softpedia.com. Archived from the original on August 10, 2022. Retrieved August 10, 2022.
  33. ^ "Windows Server". Windows Server Annual Channel. Microsoft. Retrieved January 9, 2024.
  34. ^ Speed, Richard (January 29, 2024). "Microsoft confirms Windows Server 2025 is on the way". The Register.
  35. ^ Gatlan, Sergiu (January 26, 2024). "Microsoft releases first Windows Server 2025 preview build". Bleeping Computer.