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Summary:Microsoft officials confirm the company will deliver the second tech preview of Windows Server 2016 in May. By

It’s been months — six, in fact — since Microsoft released a new test build of its next version of Windows Server.


Last we heard from company officials, Microsoft planned to deliver its second test build some time in the spring of 2015. That was after the Windows Server team decided to delay the release of the next version of server until 2016, and to hold off on releasing a second public test build of it at the start of 2015, as had been the original plan.


The first, and so far only, public Windows Server 2016 test build, was released October 1, 2014.

As Windows IT Pro noted earlier this week, the current expiration date for the first public preview of Windows Server 2016 is April 15. Will Microsoft beat its own expiration clock? Will it extend the expiration date?

When I asked about the looming expiration date, a Microsoft spokesperson sent the following statement:

«Microsoft will release a solution to extend the current Windows Server vNext Technical Preview until the next preview is available. The next preview will be available in May.»

One contact of mine had said Microsoft may end up extending the access to the current Windows Server 2016 tech preview until April 30, and release a second public test build shortly thereafter. But today’s comment from Microsoft makes it clear there won’t be any gap between the expiration date and the availability of the second preview.

With the Microsoft Build (end of April) and Ignite (first week of May) conferences rapidly approaching, Microsoft has a couple of options as to when to share more about what’s in the next Windows Server build.

Thanks to a code and presentation leak in January, we know Microsoft is building a nano-server/headless variant of Windows Server 2016. (One of my contacts says the codename of that version is «Tuva.») As points out, if and when Microsoft delivers a nano server version, it will be following in the footsteps of some Linux vendors looking to deliver lightweight versions of their offerings.

Windows Server 2016 also is expected to include built-in containerization support, as well as a new protected virtual-machine role.