back to article Windows Server to get twice-yearly updates, plus stable and fast-moving branches

Windows Server and System Center will soon receive twice-yearly updates and come in two “channels”, one for the latest stuff and another less-frequently-updated channel. Microsoft's explanation suggests the new arrangement represents “cloud cadence” while its announcement says this is all about enabling faster innovation while …

  1. a_yank_lurker


    Did Washington state legalize pot? Slurp must have it in the cafeteria for this level of stupidity. Patches and security updates are reasonable but new features every 6 months is plain idiotic.

    1. Mark 110

      Re: Huh?

      Did you read the article? Its optional.

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Huh?

        >Its optional.

        Is it?

        "you'll need to be a Windows Server Standard or Datacenter user and have Software Assurance, or run Windows Server in Azure."

        What MS haven't said is whether this is additional to the normal WS support life or not. So will a customer be able to set up a WS either on-premise or on Azure and run it for 16 years, fully benefiting from MS's bug and security fix service and not have to worry about Semi-annual or LTS updates?

        The only real beneficiaries of the Semi-Annual channel are developers who get an early indication of what willis likely to be in the next LTS release and thus develop accordingly and have products available closer to the launch of the LTS that can utilise the new functionality. But then their needs can be catered for via the development build channel. For useful new functionality the out-of-fashion Service Pack or Extension is a much better way of getting new functionality into existing production systems before the next major update; from a production environment viewpoint, you just don't want (or need) the hassle of the Semi-Annual channel and even the LTS.

  2. RealBigAl

    Sounds very similar to those Linux distros that release a Long Term Support and Bleeding Broken, I mean Edge, versions.

    1. Hans 1

      Sounds very similar to those Linux distros that release a Long Term Support and Bleeding Broken, I mean Edge, versions.

      Nope, there is LTS AND stable, then come the borken testing, and venerable unstable which, as the name suggests, might fry your GPU, burn your house down, explode into your face, or hit the fan ...

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "venerable unstable which, as the name suggests, might fry your GPU, burn your house down, explode into your face, or hit the fan"

        I think Microsoft call these Home and Pro.

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    >> Nano Server to go containers-only, Server Core pushed for all other workloads

    So no more Nano Server for Hyper-V or SOFS ?

  4. David Austin

    Little confused

    If you're on the current Public RTM Build of Windows server 2016... where does that leave you? Will that cascade onto the semi-annual version, or will it be treated as 1.0 in the Long Term branch?

    1. PickledAardvark

      Re: Little confused

      Changing a product road map when customers haven't completed the migration to version 1.0 isn't helpful. Does somebody in marketing really believe that companies will hop onto the Semi-annual Channel in the desperate hope that something new fixes things?

      The Semi-annual Channel build will be useful in a test & dev environment to see if the promised "new features" transpire.

      The Semi-annual Channel build will become a problem if application developers assume that it is the default version.

  5. shaunhw

    Is Windows server software going to be like Windows 10 has become ?

    One spends hundreds of pounds on new server software for some really expensive but older hardware you'd like to keep using. It works fine. One is really happy. Then they shove out some OS update or other, you don't need at all, and then you find that your very expensive custom legacy app (correctly written using only fully documented APIs) no longer works on it and/or your legacy hardware is no longer supported, so you have no choice but to roll back. Then find this rolled back version is only going to be supported for another 18 months!

    Time to buy new hardware which is even more expensive, or time to consider using something like Linux and get used to it ?

    MS are on record saying that old legacy FS filter drivers will be blocked by default, then possibly blocked completely, so one has to "move away from them!" It seems to be as if they are on some sort of strange suicide mission.

    Block stuff and deprecate APIs by all means ... But only do it in absolute brand new new versions of the OS. That means Windows 11 or something to me. It's how it was with 2000, Vista, Win7 etc.

    Windows 10 is becoming a joke (and a nuisance) for this kind of thing in my opinion. You pay for windows 10 update, for your old Win7 laptop and then on the next version such as "Creators " then your hardware or custom software no longer works and you roll back to 18 months of support at most... Is server going to be like this as well ?

    I remember being taught that one important job of an OS is to help protect against programs not working in future versions...

    I think everyone using currently sold windows versions should have the option to move to a long time servicing branch to ensure support for the OS they have, which is currently workimg fine. That ought to mean ten years, from first release too, not a measly two or three years.

    I remember MS updating Win 2008 server once, and it blue screened. A complete re-install was the only fix we could do. They don't seem to be able to pull this continuous updating off, in any reliable and satisfactory way at all.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Is Windows server software going to be like Windows 10 has become ?"

      Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, windows server _IS_ windows 10. Don't you need xbox services on your server?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Long term 2-3 years... WTF

    Everything they do, driven by revenue, not customer demand.

    1. PickledAardvark

      Re: Long term 2-3 years... WTF

      If Microsoft are making this change to generate short term revenue, they are mistaken.

      Maintaining multiple versions of Windows Server, Windows 10 desktop, SCCM, Azure and the whole caboodle costs a lot of money. MS can afford to lose the money, but customers have different expectations.

      The only attractive feature of this update model is to small companies experimenting with Windows. Perhaps it appeals to developers looking for new niches. MS could make a small fortune selling MSDN and Software Assurance licences -- losing a bigger fortune in the process.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Long term 2-3 years... WTF

        "The only attractive feature of this update model is to small companies experimenting with Windows."

        Don't know what world you live in, but in mine no company experiments with their servers, they rely on them for their businesses!

        You can't spin this, If it looks like a turd, smells like a turd, it is a turd, even if it's blue.

        1. PickledAardvark

          Re: Long term 2-3 years... WTF

          Don't get blue in the face about my comment; read it again. I'm not spinning for anybody.

          Most companies experiment with servers. That is why we have test and dev environments. What works until you test it?

          My sentence about "small companies experimenting with Windows" referred to businesses trying to find a niche in Windows. As people adding more.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'd rather work with a bucket of vomit.

    Than that pile of shite.

    As for windows 10, makes a grand++ top i5 QHD laptop work like a 150 quid netbook.

    black screen with Dell logo and spinny windows thingy followed by

    black screen no logo windows spinny thing followed by

    blue screen windows spinny thing followed

    getting windows ready for half an hour+ followed by

    two reboots

    followed by spinny thing 35% done eventually followed by


    windows login, thank fcuk... followed by

    getting windws ready followed by


    followed by shutdown as remote meeting finished.

    An infinitum of expletives can't adequatly explain the dross that windows has become.

    The only way to hope your windows PC will do what you want is to disable updates and never turn of off or install Linux or tonymacx86 if compatible.

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