back to article Microsoft abandons semi-annual releases for Windows Server

Microsoft will not support a semi-annual release channel in the forthcoming Windows Server 2022, and users requiring frequent updates will be directed towards Azure Stack HCI (Hyperconverged Infrastructure). In the old Windows Server world, users could choose between the Long Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) and Semi-Annual …

  1. karlkarl Silver badge

    No real issue. Most people kept to the LTSC because well, it is a server and you don't really want to keep faffing with it.

    Microsoft realized that there was little value in the SAC versions. So much so that they never even supported the GUI ("Desktop Experience") on these versions so they literally couldn't be used for a number of use-cases. The main ones that come to mind is SAGE and VMware.

    1. AMBxx Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Yep. I do a lot of work with on-prem SQL server. There's no way you want to do an in-place upgrade of the OS. Neither do you want to do a 6 monthly migration to the latest release.

      Operating Systems are supposed to be boring. Hopefully, this is a step toward becoming more boring.

      1. NoneSuch Silver badge

        Or How About...

        You just sell me a server and I run the OS I want without a monthly subscription.

        I know that does not make MS billions, but hey I'm a traditionalist. I also like freedom of choice and this locks me into funding their Christmas party fund forever.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "So much so that they never even supported the GUI ("Desktop Experience")"

      Except where it is required for different feature installs, even going so far as to introduce its requirement after not needing it in previous versions of server, 2016 to 2019, added the requirement to some of the features, with the explanation that it was done as that how most people deploy it.

      Example, remote desktop services, every feature except license server requires desktop experience, broker, gateway, web service. In 2016, could use core, 2019 you can not.

  2. Nate Amsden

    now if only

    They do the same for the desktop windows. Make ltsc the default. If you really want new features use that special version.

    They have win10 ltsc now of course but they don't make it easy to get(i think unavailable outside of enterprise?) And it seems to cost about double. The versioning and editions are so confusing now too unless you're hyper focused on MS products.(coming from someone who used to run NT3.51 and 4 back in mid 90s until switching to linux full time probably some time in 97).

    Though i do still use windows regularly (mostly in VMware) probably 10 to 15%of the time. Have one win10 ltsc VM probably add another soon.

    1. Dave K Silver badge

      Re: now if only

      Agreed. I have no problem with an annual or semi-annual release channel being available, the issue is that MS forces so many to use it. This is notably different from Linux distros such as Ubuntu where everyone is free to choose whether they want bleeding edge or longer-term stability.

      Of course, I know the reason why MS pushed the SAC for everyone. It's because they binned most of their QA department, and their "insiders" programme and telemetry requires as many testers as possible to bridge that gap. It's also why they blocked Office 365 from LTSC. They need companies to have their IT folk testing the insider builds and reporting bugs and issues to them, and they knew full well that without applying force, many businesses would just deploy LTSC to benefit from a stable environment.

      Anyway, it's good that MS have seen sense with the Server SAC. But I'm not holding my breath for the end-user versions of Windows unfortunately...

    2. MyffyW Silver badge

      Re: now if only

      Having cut my teeth (and broken the odd nail) on NT4 about 6 months before I first used Linux, I couldn't agree more, Nate Amsden.

      But this is the difference between Microsoft ("Thou Shalt") and GNU/Linux ("It's your choice").

      1. karlkarl Silver badge

        Re: now if only

        In some ways I wish Linux (or the many distros) were a little bit more opinionated to reduce fragmentation.

        However Microsoft just makes bad decisions and has bad opinions which is obviously much worse ;)

  3. Piro Silver badge

    OK, upgrade path?

    It's basically fine, but I am running a few SAC servers in production for very specific reasons (performance issues in LTSC 2019); we need an in-place upgrade path from SAC to LTSC.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: OK, upgrade path?

      I expect many are interested in the upgrade path; from Server 2012...

  4. Tom Chiverton 1 Silver badge

    SMB over QUIC

    Blocked at the firewall. Wont and can't work. Why would you want this ?

    1. gerdesj Silver badge

      Re: SMB over QUIC

      If you can't pronounce "VPN".

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: SMB over QUIC

        But I thought SMB was legacy 1990's technology that we've been trying to kill for many years...

  5. David Austin

    Quick question from someone not paying attention

    As it's released to manufacturing, I'm assuming Windows Server 2022 is based on the Windows 10 20H2 or 21H1 codebase, and not Windows 11?

    1. Dave K Silver badge

      Re: Quick question from someone not paying attention

      MS describes it as "built on the strong foundation of Windows Server 2019", so I'm going to assume it is based on the Windows 10 codebase, not Windows 11.

    2. Piro Silver badge

      Re: Quick question from someone not paying attention

      Correct. It's the "final edition" of Windows 10, with the longest support.

  6. Steve Channell

    More pincer movements for Azure

    Sounds like a pincer movement to undermine Windows VM in other people's cloud platforms.

    MS have been touring Office365 interop as an advantage of Azure over AWS, and "Windows works best on Azure" marketing campaign is just a matter of time

    1. ecarlseen

      Re: More pincer movements for Azure

      The funny thing is that the relative instability and forced pace of change with Office365 is undermining Microsoft's biggest lock-in: people being unwilling to switch to an unfamiliar office suite. Now that there are alternatives for Word and Excel that are reasonably feature-compatible and Outlook is no longer as "must have" as it used to be, there just isn't as much of a reason to care about Windows outside of vertical market systems that aren't cross-platform or web-based. I'm finding myself using Windows server less and less, and Windows desktop almost not at all.

    2. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

      Re: More pincer movements for Azure

      I think you're right. My immediate reaction was that Microsoft was thinking "other people are making money from running Windows in the cloud... money that should rightfully belong to us"

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No idea what any of this means

    1. Piro Silver badge
      IT Angle

      You've taken a wrong turn.

      This is a website for IT professionals, or at least people who play at being IT professionals

      1. 2+2=5 Silver badge

        ITYM: there's a job waiting for you in IT management

  8. ecarlseen

    Few enterprises want continuous release

    Outside of certain, relatively narrow cases, the concept of continuous release software is an absolute dumpster fire. What most businesses want and need is stability and control. Every change is both an expense and a risk, and most changes being pushed incur this without adding value.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Few enterprises want continuous release

      MS are probably beginning to realise, with subscription, the monies flow each month without having to release something new every month, so if you stop releases stuff each month, you get a margin improvement.

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