Those semi-annual releases of Windows also happen on the Windows Server side of the world. Build 17074 is heading to people signed up for previews with new storage capability and improved failover options.
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Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.
One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.
It seems the days of large, monolithic software releases are now behind us. Microsoft is changing the way updates to their server platform will be delivered. Starting during our Spring (the northern Autumn/Fall) Microsoft will be releasing updates twice a year. This, they say, is to allow their customers to take advantage of new capabilities faster as they innovate.
Windows Server 2003 reaches the end of its useful life on July 14 this year, with no more patches after that date. If you assumed that such a (relatively) ancient operating system doesn't require much updating, think again.
We know Windows 10 will arrive on the desktop later this year, but server-side updates aren't coming quite as quickly. The next version of Windows Server isn't going to appear until 2016.
There has been a lot of excitement recently about Windows 10, the forthcoming version of Windows that restores the Start menu, dangles the promise of universal apps and has lots of hidden features. But what about its less sexy but more successful Windows Server sibling? Here's what we know so far about plans for its next version.
Windows 8.1 Update has barely been available for a week, but installing it is soon going to be essential if you're already running Windows 8.1. From 13 May, Microsoft will stop offering security updates for consumers running a non-Update version Windows 8.1, while enterprise customers using Windows Server Update Services will be cut off from 12 August.
The imminent demise of Windows XP isn't the only current example of an old piece of Microsoft software that's about to hit the scrapheap. Office 2003, Windows Server 2003, Exchange Server 2003 and SQL Server 2008 are also about to lose support.
It's no surprise that Windows Server 2012 R2 will be coming out on 18 October, essentially the same date as Windows 8.1, since the two products have been on a parallel development cycle. But while I can imagine plenty of individual Windows users moving to Windows 8.1 on the day of release, that's less likely to apply to the server versions.
When Patch Tuesday rolled around last month, we were busy smirking about how running Server Core meant that you could avoid many of the inevitable updates. But that isn't the case all the time, and this month proves the point.
Tomorrow we'll announce the winners of our competition for two lucky readers to win a trip to TechEd North America in New Orleans, courtesy of the Windows Server 2012 team at Microsoft. We already know two people who are attending: Lifehacker Australia editor Angus Kidman and David Klemke, our prize-winning blogger from TechEd Australia last year. While we wait for the winners announcement, David and Angus share what they're looking forward to from the trip.
Yes, entries for our competition to win a trip to TechEd North America in New Orleans close on 1 May. That's tomorrow. If you haven't entered yet, there really is no time like the present. We'll be announcing the winners later this week; don't you want to be on that list?