back to article Microsoft previews Windows Server 2022: Someone took a spanner to core plumbing features

Microsoft has released a preview of Windows Server 2022, with "secured core", improved Windows Containers, and MsQuic protocol support in the kernel. Windows Server can also be deployed using an "as a service" model in the style of Windows 10, though there are important differences. The regularly updated version is simply …

  1. karlkarl Silver badge

    I am generally using these server releases as my Windows workstation OS of choice.

    Currently they are very close to the sweet spot of enough consumer features making it nice for a GUI desktop, yet not exhibiting too much criminality with regards to data theft. So much so that I even choose this OS edition for my dear sweet parents laptops XD.

    The only thing that could ruin this is if Microsoft removes the GUI desktop from server releases. I can honestly see this happening since "Core" is now the default and the GUI stuff has been given a tacky name of "Legacy Desktop Experience".

    So enjoy it whilst it lasts I suppose :)

    1. Marty McFly Bronze badge
      Coat

      >"criminality with regards to data theft"

      You failed at the corporate speak. It is properly stated as "Monetizing the user after the sale"

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      They will not be removing the gui. Some features of windows, notibly most of the rds features, gateway, Web services and broker all require the gui, they didn't in 2016, but was added again as a requirement in 2019. The reason being an idiotic, most installations of these features are installed on the rds hosts themselves which needs the desktop experience, so now all these other parts require it too.

      1. karlkarl Silver badge

        I do hope you are right.

        I didn't realise that they already don't offer a GUI on the Semi-Annual Channel (SAC) editions:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Server

  2. BenM 29

    WAC?

    If its anything like WAC on my PC its awful..... the UI is bad, the update management is even worse (have to install the updates for each extension individually!) and "treacle like" is being kind to it.

    To be fair to it, one can do almost anything you want though a web page... got to be good, amirite?

    Hey ho. Onwards in the Microsoft dictated direction!

    p.s. it just took two attempts to correctly load all 14 VMs on my cluster into the Virtual Machine bit of the interface, even though they are all present in the Roles section. First time it ignored any hosted on node 2 the cluster hosts and displayed all the machines hosted on node 1. FOCM and Hyper-V manager are waaaaaaay more reliable/quicker when run remotely.

    1. chivo243 Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: WAC?

      I tried to use it, I tried to like it, it crapped the bed at every turn. I tried, really, it sounds like a nice concept...

    2. Steskalj

      Re: WAC?

      We could get them to fix it. I've been attempting to get them to rebuilt it as a desktop app, which is more reliable. Please upvote it on their uservoice:

      https://windowsserver.uservoice.com/forums/295071-management-tools/suggestions/38982271-wrap-wac-in-electron-or-create-a-react-native-vers

      They need to understand, that a webpage is not a great tool for this.

  3. eswan

    "SMB over QUIC will allow "mobile users, hybrid users, travelling internet users, instead of using a VPN, [to] tunnel SMB traffic over the QUIC protocol which is a UDP, TLS, highly secure, easily firewall-traversing protocol… "

    Oh, that sounds terrifying.

    1. Captain Obvious
      FAIL

      My thoughts exactly - a NEW attack vector that can directly access your files. What could POSSIBLY go wrong?

      1. Joe W Silver badge

        ... it was inevitable.

        But yeah, those were my first thoughts exactly. There are reasons some drives cannot be mapped (unless you do things like using ssh tunnels, which will get you shot my angry BOFHs or the infosec horde) outside the building. Some restrictions are based on sensible threat assessments.

        (but I'm sure it will be possible to block that anyway, your default rule is block or drop)

  4. Mr Dogshit
    FAIL

    New Windows Server - but the company would rather talk about Azure

    I signed up for Ignite this morning, and was prompted to indicate my interests. Windows Server wasn't even listed as an option.

    Oh, and hands up everyone who's seen server core in production use... Yeah, me neither.

    1. needmorehare
      Thumb Up

      Holds hand up....

      People with common sense use Server Core for Hyper-V hosting, since it reduces the number of patch-related reboots that are necessary. MMC can be invoked from any decent desktop to manage VMs in one nice, neat window. Server Core does have very good uses.

      1. Tilda Rice

        Re: Holds hand up....

        Core and Nano are tight.

        The MS VM management tools, not so tight.

        WAC needs to be VSphere?

      2. DavidRa

        Re: Holds hand up....

        I also prefer Core where possible but it's no longer true (if indeed it ever was) that there are fewer updates and reboots. Microsoft shot that idea down the moment they moved from individual updates to the CU model. Core and Desktop receive the same packages, same size and they install in about the same time on each.

        I suspect I'm neither the first nor only person to call it the Cumulative Update for New Technology model on the back of Windows historical designation.

    2. DarthTater

      Re: New Windows Server - but the company would rather talk about Azure

      At my last job we replaced all Active Directory desktop experience (aka GUI) servers with server sore servers, mainly for security reasons since server core has a smaller attack surface. It really wasn't a big deal either since we used other "admin" servers running WS2019 with the GUI and AD admin tools installed for AD, DNS, DHCP, etc.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: New Windows Server - but the company would rather talk about Azure

      Waves hand in the air.

      Older versions of server core had serious limitations, but as we have migrated all our Windows servers to 2019, we have used core wherever possible. Off the top of my head, the only servers we have running the desktop experience are the Citrix servers and management box. Domain controllers, file servers, web servers are all core. Hell, even the Exchange server we have to keep on prem to manage O365 recipients is on core. These are all Server 2019 core. We don't use the short term support Windows Server builds.

    4. Piro

      Re: New Windows Server - but the company would rather talk about Azure

      I've used core, and even deployed.. deliberately.. SAC builds of Server, in to production. The shock, the horror! I had specific reasons for doing so, though. Otherwise it's basically always less hassle to just use the desktop version. There are handfuls of programmes that simply won't function without the full interface anyway.

  5. LDS Silver badge

    Does it support TLS 1.3?

    Last time I checked Windows didn't support it yet.

    1. Sandtitz Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Does it support TLS 1.3?

      Yes, it does support TLS 1.3. First seen on beta released last summer.

      Disabling older protocols/ciphers should also be available through the IIS GUI, instead of relying on IISCrypto.

      Pity it took this long though.

  6. Big_Boomer Silver badge

    Still with the crap menu system though. Thank **** for Classic/Open Shell on Win10. If I were still a SysAd I'd for sure be trying it on the Servers.

    That crappy menu interface is the worst one I have ever used, and I have used some bad ones over the years. Some config items are under one screen, others under a different one, no consistency, no ease of accessibility considered. What were/are MS thinking of. Are they deaf or just bloody minded. The interface is crap. Ditch it and give us normal server menus. We don't need pretty pictures to click on because we learned how to ****ing read. If we hadn't then we probably wouldn't be doing admin work on servers.

    1. TonyJ Silver badge

      Whilst I wouldn't call Windows 10 the worst UI by a long stretch, (Windows 8, anyone?) I agree about the inconsistencies.

      Things in Settings and in Control Panel.

      Things you'd expect to see in one but they're in the other.

      It just adds a feeling of frustration. One example being when they made it multiple clicks (and associated head-scratching) to just get to a network card properties. Absolutely no discernible need to do this shit.

      1. RobinCM

        Multiple clicks to get to network card properties

        I just type ncpa.cpl

    2. katrinab Silver badge
      Flame

      How many places do you have to look for things?

      You have Control Panel, which has a load of things

      In Control Panel, you have Administrative Tools, which has more things

      You have mmc, which doesn't appear to be discoverable from the gui, and has more things. Some of them can also be found in Control Panel, some can't.

      You have Windows Settings, which partially duplicates Control Panel with a completely different interface, and provides some other stuff

      You have Server Manager

      You have gpedit

      Some components have their own thing

      And of course you can type incantations into Powershell

      1. Naselus

        "You have mmc, which doesn't appear to be discoverable from the gui, and has more things."

        I always figured that was deliberate, on the principal of "If you're working with stuff that needs MMC, you already know about MMC. If you don't know about MMC, then the stuff you can do in there is not for the likes of you to know the wot of."

        I figure the same reasons apply for the enormously different capabilities of ExchangeShell and the EAC. Mere GUI-using exchange admins are not permitted to meddle with the awesome powers granted to the shell-speakers.

        1. Wolfclaw
          Big Brother

          Windows GUI developers based their departments on Germany's National Socialist Workers Party when in pre-war government, each department replicating each others work while fighting for more responsibility and cash, we all know how well that worked out for efficentcy.

          1. Naselus
            Joke

            "we all know how well that worked out for efficentcy."

            What, you mean they conquered most of the Western world as all organized opposition collapsed in an extremely short space of time before eventually their security apparatus began to collapse in the face of hordes of Russians wielding cheap, inferior technology?

            Actually, that does sound a lot like the history of Windows :D

    3. ITMA

      Sounds like you haven't used any of the Windows Server releases (2012 r2 for instance) which had the utterly shite Metro interface.

      A contract developer we had with us at the time took one look at it and said (of Microsoft for imposing Metro onto a Server version of Windows) - "The sick f**ks!!!"

      It was impossible not to agree with him

  7. johnnyblaze

    Let's be clear here

    - MS don't want people running Windows Server on-prem anymore and they don't want you using a GUI. They'd like nothing more than for everyone to run Windows core VM's in Azure, and you managing your entire estate in their cloud with PowerShell. That's the bottom line, and that's what they're moving towards ever, so, slowly.

    They want you paying your cloud subs month on month without fail while you become 100% reliant on them for everything.

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