Microsoft is abandoning its efforts to deliver feature updates to Windows Server twice a year. The practice began alongside Windows 10, so it should come as no surprise that alongside Windows 11, that practice is changing. After all, Windows 11 isn’t getting biannual updates either. However, while Windows 11 is getting annual updates, Windows Server isn’t even getting that.
Beginning with Windows Server 2022, there’s going to be a new version of the OS every two to three years. Indeed, it’s similar to the practice that we had before the Windows as a service era. They’re going to be Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) releases, but the support timeline is different from Windows client. Rather than five years of support, Server LTSC releases are going to get 10 years, another throwback to the way that things used to be done. They’ll get five years of mainstream support and five years of extended support.
Microsoft updated a support document yesterday detailing the new information. While Semi-Annual Channel (SAC) releases were already problematic for Windows client, it was presumably less popular with businesses that run Server. Businesses are renowned for prioritizing stability above new features.
The Redmond firm pulled all of its Windows Server previews at the beginning of this month, only saying that it was gearing up for the next development cycle. If you go to the Windows Server Insider Preview download page, the dropdown list of previews only includes an item that says, “Preview builds are temporarily on hold”. Today’s news is another piece of that puzzle. Presumably, Microsoft will start firing up previews again after Windows Server 2022 is released.
Obviously, Microsoft is going to have more to share around the product as time goes on. Right now, all we really know is that after the next LTSC release, there won’t be anymore SAC releases. Again, this was to be expected, given that there’s no more Windows client SAC release to align with.