Last week, Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 3 leaked onto the web, shortly after screenshots had emerged showing build 10514. The new preview isn't yet available, but its arrival now appears imminent, as Microsoft has published release notes ahead of its rollout.
The last preview was released more than three months ago, in early May, and was based upon Windows 10 build 10074. The latest Windows 10 builds are in the 105xx range, and the recent leaks suggest that Server 2016 TP3 will also be in this range when it's released.
Microsoft has detailed some of the key changes that the new preview release will bring. This isn't an exhaustive list, but rather a selection of the changes "most likely to have the greatest impact as you work with this release":
Windows Server Containers: Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview now includes containers, which are an isolated, resource-controlled, and portable operating environment. They are an isolated place where an application can run without affecting the rest of the system or the system affecting the application. For some additional information on containers, see Containers: Docker, Windows and Trends.
What's new in Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) in Windows Server Technical Preview. Active Directory Domain Services includes improvements to help organizations secure Active Directory environments and provide better identity management experiences for both corporate and personal devices.
What’s New in Active Directory Federation Services. Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS) in Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview includes new features that enable you to configure AD FS to authenticate users stored in Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) directories. For more information, see Active Directory Federation Services Overview [Role/Tech Overview].
What's New in Failover Clustering in Windows Server Technical Preview. This topic explains the new and changed functionality of Failover Clustering. A Hyper-V or Scale-out File Server failover cluster can now easily be upgraded without any downtime or need to build a new cluster with nodes that are running Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview.
What's new in Hyper-V in Technical Preview. This topic explains the new and changed functionality of the Hyper-V role in Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview, Client Hyper-V running on Windows 10, and Microsoft Hyper-V Server Technical Preview.
Windows Server Antimalware Overview for Windows Server Technical Preview. Windows Server Antimalware is installed and enabled by default in Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview, but the user interface for Windows Server Antimalware is not installed. However, Windows Server Antimalware will update antimalware definitions and protect the computer without the user interface. If you need the user interface for Windows Server Antimalware, you can install it after the operating system installation by using the Add Roles and Features Wizard.
What's New in Remote Desktop Services in Windows Server 2016. For the Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview, the Remote Desktop Services team focused on improvements based on customer requests. We added support for OpenGL and OpenCL applications, and added MultiPoint Services as a new role in Windows Server.
What's New in File and Storage Services in Windows Server Technical Preview. This topic explains the new and changed functionality of Storage Services. An update in storage quality of service now enables you to create storage QoS policies on a Scale-Out File Server and assign them to one or more virtual disks on Hyper-V virtual machines. Storage Replica is a new feature that enables synchronous replication between servers for disaster recovery, as well as stretching of a failover cluster for high availability..
What's New in Web Application Proxy in Windows Server Technical Preview. The latest version of Web Application Proxy focuses on new features that enable publishing and preauthentication for more applications and improved user experience. Check out the full list of new features that includes preauthentication for rich client apps such as Exchange ActiveSync and wildcard domains for easier publishing of SharePoint apps.
What's new in the Windows console. The underlying console host (Conhost.exe) has been updated in several ways, adding new and different functionality to the Windows command prompt, the Windows PowerShell prompt, and any other character-mode applications. For details, see What's New in the Windows Console in Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview and Console Improvements in the Windows 10 Technical Preview , but you should take note of these important changes:
- The new console functionality is enabled by default. If an existing application doesn't work properly with the new console, you can select Use legacy console on the Options tab and then restart your application. You can also control individual aspects of the new functionality with registry keys; see details at the linked topics.
- Console windows can be resized dynamically with the mouse. This could cause issues with some console applications.
- Quick Edit mode is enabled by default. If this conflicts with your application, you can disable it on the Options tab.
- There are new keyboard shortcuts for copy, paste, and history navigation. If these conflict with your application, you can disable them on the Options tab (look for Enable CTRL key shortcuts and Extended test selection keys).
- The default font type for new console windows is TrueType. You can still use raster fonts, but they won't scale properly on some displays.
- Text wraps and reflows by default when you resize a window. If necessary, you can disable this on the Layouts tab.
- In some cases, after upgrade installation, fonts in the console window might be very small. To adjust this, use the Fonts tab.
What’s New in Windows PowerShell 5.0. Windows PowerShell 5.0 includes significant new features—including support for developing with classes, and new security features—that extend its use, improve its usability, and allow you to control and manage Windows-based environments more easily and comprehensively. Multiple new features in Windows PowerShell Desired State Configuration (DSC) are also described in this topic.
What's New in Networking in Windows Server Technical Preview. With this topic you can discover information about new networking technologies, such as Network Controller and Generic Routing Encapsulation (GRE) Tunneling, and new features for existing technologies, including IP Address Management (IPAM), DNS, and DHCP. Detailed information about what’s new is available for these networking technologies:
- GRE Tunneling in Windows Server Technical Preview. This preview release introduces a new feature that enables Generic Routing Encapsulation (GRE) for the Windows Server Gateway.
- What's New in DNS Client in Windows Server Technical Preview. Window DNS Client provides enhanced support for computers with more than one network interface.
- What's New in DHCP in Windows Server Technical Preview. The DHCP Server role no longer supports Network Access Protection (NAP).
Microsoft hasn't said when Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 3 will begin rolling out, but as with any preview software release, the company advises that you only install it in a testing environment.