With little public fanfare, Microsoft has started making its next release of Windows Server, known as Windows Server 2022, available to mainstream users. Windows Server 2022, which Microsoft has been developing for the past year-plus, is a Long Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) release and includes several new features.
Windows Server 2022 comes in Standard, Datacenter and Datacenter: Azure Edition variants. As of today, it's available to customers on the Volume Licensing Service Center. (Thanks to @teroalhonen for the heads up.) Images of Server 2022 also are available in Azure and it's available on the Product Evaluation Center and Visual Studio site. (Thanks to @sbisson for that bit.)
Microsoft quietly updated its lifecycle documentation page for Windows Server 2022 on August 18, indicating that the support cycle for the product kicked off on that date. Mainstream support for the product will end on October 13, 2026 and extended support on October 14, 2031. (Again, thanks to @teroalhonen for the link.)
Microsoft officials have said that going forward, the company only will be releasing LTSC versions of Windows Server and no more Semi-Annual Channel releases. These LTSC server releases will get ten years of support, comprised of five mainstream and five extended. Microsoft plans to release new versions of Windows Server every two to three years, officials said.
Earlier this year, officials posted a list of some of the new features that would be part of Windows Server 2022. According to Microsoft, Windows Server 2022 users will be able to:
- Apply advanced multi-layer protection against threats enabled easily with secured-core server.
- Secure connectivity to business-critical assets with an additional layer of security during transport, including support for HTTPS and TLS 1.3 enabled by default.
- Manage and govern Windows Server on-prem with Azure Arc
- Get better virtual-machine management with the latest Windows Admin Center.
- Migrate file servers from on-premises to Azure with new supported scenario in Storage Migration Service.
- Improve container application deployment with smaller image size for faster download and simplified network policy implementation.
- Update .NET applications with the new containerization tool in Windows Admin Center.
Microsoft has scheduled a virtual Windows Server Summit event for September 16, where officials said they will provide the first in-depth public demo of the product.