It's not just a first test build of the client version of Windows 10 that Microsoft is making available to testers on October 1.
A first technical preview of Windows Server vNext is available for download to testers today, as well. Windows Server Standard, Hyper-V and Datacenter technical previews are available on MSDN for download. (Thanks to Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Aidan Finn for the list of available versions.)
(Microsoft officials haven't yet said what the final name of the next server release will be. It could be Windows Server 2015, if Microsoft sticks with past naming conventions. Or they could do Windows Server 10, I guess...)
The Cloud & Enterprise team is taking a new approach with today's tech preview release, according to a blog post.
"We typically provide this release only to a small number of customers, but this time we are providing broad access for those who want to start the journey early. If you want to download the bits or try them on Azure, then by all means go for it. But do know that this is an early release, and many of the features and scenarios are still in development. As such, this build is not intended for production environments, labs, nor full evaluations," company officials said.
There's an MSDN page listing the new features for the Windows Server Next versions.
Among some of the new features in the server previews:
Microsoft is still mulling how best to provide updates to the server bits as the company moves forward. On the client side, Microsoft is expected to make regular automatic updates to Windows 10 starting with the technical preview and after the product moves beyond the test phase. (Enterprise customers will be able to postpone these updates using WSUS and other tools, however.)
On the server side, the team had this to say in yesterday's blog post:
"We are also evolving how we ship our software and service our platform products to keep the software up-to-date. For our datacenter products, there is a duality in what customers want: In some scenarios customers tell us they favor stability and predictability while in other scenarios they want access to the latest and greatest technologies as fast as possible. We’ll have more specifics in the coming months, but you can expect us to deliver the best of both worlds: options for speed and agility, plus options for stability and durability."