Bear with me, if you will, for a moment while I put forth an interesting idea concerning Microsoft's future in the cloud computing business marketplace. I believe that traditional server operating systems (OSs) will go out of style long before desktop format computing will and there's a very good reason for that: We just don't need standalone servers anymore. Yes, I realize that's a pretty strong statement in any arena but, as I wrote above, bear with me while I discuss this salient point with you. I think that Microsoft will replace standard, standalone Windows Server with Hyper-V and App-V. And, you'll probably select which one you want to use during installation. Windows vServer 2015 or Windows Application Server 2015?
Click. Restart. Deploy.
Once your system is up and running, you can select through a series of Roles for your new Server, if you selected Windows Application Server 2015, such as Remote Desktop Server, Exchange Server, SharePoint Server, Communications Server, Media Server, Active Directory Server, Office Applications Server or Custom Applications Server. The Custom Applications Server would allow you to deploy applications that don't fall into one of the other categories.
The Server OS itself is an application. It's little more than (or hopefully a little less than) Server Core.
Of course, you could deploy either major server type onto physical hardware or into virtual machines.
What other types of servers do you need that you couldn't install via Roles?
I hope you didn't say File or Print. Those services move under application server configurations. Hopefully no one but small companies are still using Windows Servers as File/Print servers.
This scenario of having the choices of Hyper-V or Application Server doesn't currently exist, except in my mind. But, I think it could exist. And, I think Microsoft is smart enough to realize that traditional server deployments are getting a little long in the tooth. Today's businesses, especially those interested in cloud services, want agility. Agility means changing the way you do business. It means changing the way you think about servers, services and infrastructure.
You have to forget traditional terminology and traditional paradigms.
You have to learn a new vocabulary.
You'll deploy services and applications as workloads. You won't install applications onto desktop computers or desktop computing devices, you'll stream applications to them.
Microsoft could usher in a brave new world of computing with a new server paradigm. The stage is set for it. The shift has to be in how they construct the OS. It has to be trimmed down to a simple application container and that's it. The OS becomes a container onto which an application workload is deployed.
And, from my introspection, you'd only need those two choices: Hyper-V or Application Server. Because either you're building an application container or you're building an application container host system.
Whether Microsoft can or will make the transition to this new cloud-oriented computing model is anyone's guess but it certainly seems like they're pulling the hammer back on such technology. With the migration to Windows 8 and Windows Server 8 still looming in the not-so-distant future, it's anyone's guess as to what's next.
What do you think of my fictional scenario? Do you think this is a good direction for Microsoft or is it just my own personal fantasy? Talk back and let me know.