Now that we’re ready to share it with the world, I want to take a moment to thank our customers who helped shape this exciting release. Windows Server 2016 is jam-packed with innovation and customer response has been overwhelming, with more than half a million devices running our final Technical Preview which we released five months ago. These customers range from large global enterprises to private cloud hosters to organizations of every size from every corner of the globe.
Customer feedback is an important driver of the features we build into our products. Customers tell us they face massive change as they evolve processes and applications to deliver faster and more powerful business solutions, while at the same time having to operate existing workloads more securely and efficiently. IT and developers need to work together to innovate, using cloud computing and a variety of new technologies, while managing the transition of critical applications from one world to the next. IT needs to make strategic investment decisions, betting on vendors and solutions that can support them in a hybrid cloud world.
This customer feedback inspired the design of Windows Server 2016. We call it the “cloud-ready OS” because it meets customers where they are today, and it introduces technology to ease the transition to cloud. It is a great server OS to run traditional applications and datacenter infrastructure, and at the same time it delivers an unprecedented amount of innovation to help customers transition workloads to a more secure, efficient and agile cloud model. It is a great place to land all your workloads, providing the flexibility to run them on-premises or in the cloud.
Windows Server 2016 delivers powerful innovation across three areas:
- Advanced Multi-layer Security: Nearly every morning when I read the news, I see a new headline about a security breach. Attacks have become more sophisticated, so organizations must respond with a more sophisticated environment that presents new layers of defense at every level of potential compromise. As the operating system that runs mission-critical applications and databases, Windows Server can play a strategic role in an organization’s security arsenal. Windows Server 2016 gives IT the power to help prevent attacks and detect suspicious activity with new features to control privileged access, protect virtual machines and harden the platform against emerging threats. Learn more about the new security features.
- Software-defined Datacenter: Many people don’t realize that our Azure public cloud is actually one of my Windows Server customers. This means they use Windows Server and Hyper-V at a massive scale to deliver some of the most efficient datacenters in the world. Not every organization needs this type of scale, but every organization can definitely benefit from the new models of cloud efficiency. We worked hard to build that into this release so every customer can benefit. As a result, Windows Server 2016 delivers a more flexible and cost-efficient operating system for any datacenter, using software-defined compute, storage and network features inspired by Azure. Learn more about the new software-defined datacenter features.
- Cloud-ready Application Platform: Applications are at the heart of every organization and its ability to serve customers and compete effectively for their loyalty. As the digital transformation accelerates in every organization, nearly every application needs to transition or transform. Windows Server 2016 delivers new ways to deploy and run both existing and cloud-native applications – whether on-premises or in Microsoft Azure – using new capabilities such as Windows Server Containers and the lightweight Nano Server deployment option. And to make life easier for developers, today we announced with Docker a new agreement that will make the Commercially Supported Docker Engine (CS Docker Engine) available to Windows Server 2016 customers at no additional cost. Learn more about the new application platform features.
As you can see, I am very excited about the release of Windows Server 2016. It is an important piece of the Microsoft hybrid cloud platform. And of course you will also want to check out today’s launch of System Center 2016, which includes enhancements to help deploy and manage the new features in Windows Server 2016.
Windows Server 2016 is available for evaluation beginning today and will be on the October price list. Volume licensing customers will be able to download fully licensed software at General Availability in mid-October.
Get started today:
- Download Windows Server 2016 trial.
- Get demos and documentation on the new Windows Server 2016 site.
- Save the date for our webcast on Oct 13th as I join Jeffrey Snover and Jeff Woolsey to walk through the new features, demos and early adopter stories.
Free e-book about Windows Server 2016
You can download a free e-book explaining all the new features of Windows Server 2016 from here.