Microsoft has released the latest Windows Server build for people in the Windows Server Insider Program. It has the build number of 25987 and includes improvements of SMB over QUIC features.
The new version is available to download as an ISO from the Windows Server Insider website along with a VHDX. It contains both the (Windows 11) Desktop Experience as well as a Server Core installation option for Datacenter and the Standard edition. There's also an Azure Edition, but it's only available via virtual machines.
There is a dedicated blog post for this new release. Here are the main details:
SMB over QUIC now supports additional access control options for clients. This improves the existing SMB over QUIC feature, which introduced an alternative to the TCP network transport, providing secure, reliable connectivity to edge file servers over untrusted networks like the Internet.
With this new option, administrators can restrict which clients can access SMB over QUIC servers. This option gives organizations additional SMB over QUIC connection protections but does not change the Windows authentication used to make the SMB connection or the end user experience.
This new feature requires both the Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 25977 as well as a Windows Server Insider Preview Build 25977 (or higher) running in a VM.
For more information on configuring SMB over QUIC client access control, review https://aka.ms/SmbOverQuicCAC.
The following new features are specific to Windows Server with Desktop Experience only. Some of these will require running the OS on physical systems AND having the right drivers on hand.
- Additions to Settings>Accounts: Email & Accounts is now consistent with Windows 11. Please note, that domain join will still be necessary for most scenarios.
- Increased coverage for Bluetooth devices. Many of you want to use BT to connect mice, keyboards, and audio devices at the Edge. Please try out your favorite keyboard, mouse, headphones, or other BT peripheral!
- Wi-Fi present by default. Many of you want to connect servers to Wi-Fi networks at the Edge. While Wireless LAN service has been present in Windows Server, it was disabled by default. Wi-Fi support is now currently enabled by default for Edge scenarios. You will need the appropriate hardware and drivers handy. Please verify that your wireless devices work properly. When hardware and the correct drivers are present, see the corresponding Settings and Taskbar experiences. Let us know what you think!
- First login privacy settings: this is not the final version, but you will notice a Windows 11 like first login “OOBE” experience, albeit limited to user privacy settings.
- If you are validating upgrades from Windows Server 2019 or 2022, we do not recommend that you use this build as intermittent upgrade failures have been identified for this build.
- This build has an issue where archiving eventlogs with "wevetutil al" command causes the Windows Event Log service to crash, and the archive operation to fail. The service must be restarted by executing "Start-Service EventLog" from an administrative command line prompt.
- If you have Secure Launch/DRTM code path enabled, we do not recommend that you install this build.
The Windows Server Preview currently is on the same build number as the current Windows 11 Insider Canary channel, which might indicate we won't see a new Server version until 2024 when Windows 12 is expected to be released.
Here's some more important info on this release:
- Downloads to certain countries may not be available. See Microsoft suspends new sales in Russia - Microsoft On the Issues
- Windows Server Long-Term Servicing Channel Preview in ISO format in 18 languages, and in VHDX format in English only.
- Windows Server Datacenter Azure Edition Preview in ISO and VHDX format, English only.
- Microsoft Server Languages and Optional Features Preview
Keys: Keys are valid for preview builds only
- Server Standard: MFY9F-XBN2F-TYFMP-CCV49-RMYVH
- Datacenter: 2KNJJ-33Y9H-2GXGX-KMQWH-G6H67
- Azure Edition does not accept a key
Symbols: available on the public symbol server – see Using the Microsoft Symbol Server.
Expiration: This Windows Server Preview will expire on September 15, 2024.