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Microsoft's 'Weirdest Release': Windows Server 2022 Quietly Becomes Generally Available

Microsoft rolled out Windows Server 2022 earlier this week in an unusually understated fashion.

According to this Windows Server 2022 lifecycle support page, which was noted by Tero Alhonen in this Twitter post, Windows Server 2022 reached general availability on Aug. 18.

Possibly, a working ISO has been available at the Microsoft Volume License Service Center as of Aug. 19, a date that was also noted by Alhonen in this Twitter post, although he later explained that the product keys are missing.

The Visual Studio Subscriptions download page for developers lists the availability of "Windows Server 2022 Languages and Optional Features." However, the full product bits didn't appear to be there at press time.

Announcement Date Speculation
Microsoft, remarkably, has not given public notice about the commercial product release of its latest Windows Server product. Wesley Miller, an analyst at Directions on Microsoft, an independent consultancy, speculated in the Twitter thread above that Microsoft is waiting till Sept. 1 to announce Windows Server 2022's commercial release, when Microsoft's product terms may be available:

As I noted yesterday it would be very weird if it hit VL and the product terms hadn't been updated -- which still usually only happens on the first of a month. It still hasn't. I'd bet the whole thing hits Sept. 1.

Microsoft's product terms publications, which list updated pricing for its products, typically arrive on the first of the month. Microsoft's GA release announcement pattern, though, typically has been to announce a product GA before the product terms are published, which essentially means that the product is announced, but you can't buy it until the first of the month.

In this case, Microsoft hasn't really announced that Windows Server 2022 reached GA -- at least, not in the usual way it announces such matters.

"This is the weirdest release I've ever seen," Miller commented.

Microsoft announced earlier this week that it is planning to hold an online Windows Server Summit event on Sept. 16, which is a public event but requires registration to attend. That Sept. 16 date also could be the announce date Microsoft intends.

Windows Server 2022 was at the release-to-manufacturing (RTM) stage back in June. However, it was also called a "preview" at that time. It was an odd description, since "RTM" is old Microsoft nomenclature for finished software bits that undergo testing by original equipment manufacturers prior to a final product release. In other words, RTMs aren't previews.

Windows Server 2022 Editions and Features
Microsoft is planning to release a Standard edition, a Datacenter edition and a Datacenter Azure edition of Windows Server 2022, with Core and Desktop installation options. The products will get updated via the long-term servicing channel release model as Microsoft has dropped the semiannual channel update option (updates arriving twice per year) for all supported Window Server products.

Windows Server 2022 has some notable new features. On the security side, it has Secured Core boot protection, TLS 1.3 protocol use by default and Domain Name System over HTTPS encryption. Communications will be better protected from viewing with Server Message Block (SMB) over QUIC capability. The server also will have SMB compression for speedier file access.

More details on Windows Server 2022's new features can be found in this Redmond article.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

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