Microsoft recently stated that it would be launching the next version of Windows Server at its Ignite conference. True to its word, the company has today announced version 1709 of the software, which also happens to be the first release to ship in the Semi-Annual Channel.
Windows Server is offered through two channels: Long-Term Servicing and Semi-Annual, and no matter which one you choose, Microsoft says that "you are in full control of patching your servers." As such, the Semi-Annual Channel is aimed at customers who want to receive major updates every six months, in order to take advantage of the latest capabilities offered by the OS.
Windows Server version 1709 brings a variety of improvements, including an updated Server Core container image through which customers can transition their existing applications into containers with the least possible amount of effort. Additionally, the Server Core container image is now 60% smaller, while the Nano Server container image has received an 80% reduction in size.
Linux containers are now natively supported on Windows Server as well, allowing more flexibility to customers interested in taking advantage of the capability. In order to ensure that more Linux applications are brought over to Windows Server, Microsoft has also noted that its Windows Subsystem for Linux will aid developers in the process.
Lastly, the company's new experience for managing Windows Server on a browser-based platform, dubbed "Project Honolulu", can also be tested in technical preview.
Windows Server version 1709 will launch on Azure in October, with customers with Software Assurance on their Windows Server licenses or MSDN licenses being able to download it through the Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC) in mid-October.