Microsoft releases Windows Server version 1709; its first semi-annual release

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Microsoft announced the release of Windows Server version 1709 yesterday, which is the first version of the server operating system to ship in the company’s new Semi-Annual Channel. “With releases every six months, the Semi-Annual Channel is designed to deliver continuous innovation for customers who want to take advantage of new operating system capabilities at a faster pace,” explained the company.

Following the release of Windows Server 2016 last year, this faster release cycle will allow Microsoft to bring new features to IT admins twice a year. “While our work continues to span investments across the application platform and virtualization infrastructure, for this specific release you’ll see a majority of investments accruing to applications, particularly those built on containers and microservices,” the Windows Server team noted.

Here are the main new features in the first semi-annual release of Windows Server:

  • The new version ships with optimized Server Core and Nano Server container images that should bring many improvements for containers and microservices.
  • The Windows Subsystem for Linux(aka Bash on Windows) is now included, as well as native support for Linux containers.
  • Project Honolulu, Microsoft’s new browser-based graphical management experience for Windows Server is also available in technical preview.

Windows Server version 1709 will be available on Azure in early October. For customers with Software Assurance on their Windows Server licenses or MSDN licenses, the new server operating system will be available to download from the Volume Licensing Service Center portal in mid-October.