Microsoft confirms Windows Server 2025 is on the way

Microsoft confirms Windows Server 2025 is on the way

The latest iteration of Microsoft's server OS was announced alongside preview releases of the latest builds for Windows Server and Windows 11

Published on 31st January 2024

Microsoft is unleashing build 26040 of Windows Server and has revealed the official branding for the product: Windows Server 2025.

It also pushed out build 26040 of the Windows Insider Canary Channel version of Windows 11.

Microsoft’s desktop and server operating systems share many internal similarities and a common code base, although the former lacks the latter’s enterprise features. Windows 11 Pro, for example, tops out at 6TB of physical memory, while Windows Server 2022 can go as far as 48TB.

Infamously, it was possible to switch Windows NT from Workstation to Server mode many years ago, demonstrating just how much commonality existed between editions.

Although Server editions of Microsoft’s flagship operating system are quite a bit more differentiated these days, the matching build numbers may cause users to wonder why updated branding for Windows Server has been revealed while Windows 11 continues to retain its 2021 branding.

Doubtless, a team of marketers is feverishly working out how to shoehorn the letters A and I into Windows 12.

wAIndows, anyone?

As well as confirming the Windows Server 2025 branding, Microsoft also introduced some nice-to-haves in build 26040, including Bluetooth improvements and Wi-Fi support enabled by default for Edge scenarios.

More interesting for administrators is the ability to ditch the hardcoded default port for SMB over QUIC. Instead of the default UDP/443 port, a user can now switch to any other available port.

The company introduced flighting to Windows Server Insiders on January 26, 2024, meaning that administrators keen to try out the latest code from Microsoft would be able to perform an in-place OS upgrade – a feature long enjoyed by Insiders testing the company’s desktop operating system – rather than having to perform a clean installation or take a chance that running a setup from Windows Server media would do the job correctly.

Microsoft thanked administrators for taking the time to test the upgrades: “This is a familiar task, and it sure became easier and more reliable over the years. But it’s time-consuming and might be boresome— especially if you do it often.”

The plan is to continue releasing new builds of Windows Server for Insiders once every two weeks or so. Administrators would need to manually check for new builds unless automatic updates are enabled. The Desktop Experience is also required to access the Settings app.

Production versions of Windows Server 2022 and 2019 are not affected – an administrator would still need to download a preview build to get started.

The Canary Channel build of Windows 11 did contain several changes aimed at administrators, as well as improvements around mobile device image handling and enhancements to the Windows setup experience. IT administrators can now configure the Windows Local Administrator Password Solution (LAPS) to create, enable, or disable the managed local account.

The account name can also be configured and randomized if required. There’s a new PasswordComplexity setting to drop some of the more confusing characters – for example, ‘I’ and ‘1’ – to aid readability and the ability to generate passphrases.

And, finally, Microsoft wasn’t kidding about ditching WordPad. Already removed from clean installs, the application will also be removed on upgrade.


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