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Azure / Windows Server

Microsoft Skips RTM for Windows Server 2019, Unleashes it Publicly Anyway

Microsoft Skips RTM for Windows Server 2019, Unleashes it Publicly Anyway

With the growing number of reports of Windows 10 1809 problems, maybe this isn’t the greatest idea.

Microsoft has now announced that Windows Server 2019 is generally available.

If you are a Windows Server customer with valid Software Assurance, you can download Windows Server 2019 on the Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC). You can also download the evaluation version of Windows Server 2019 at the Evaluation Center.

For customers running Windows Server on Azure, Windows Server 2019 is also available in the Azure Marketplace. Later in October, we’ll be adding Windows Server 2019 to Visual Studio Subscription (former MSDN) and other portals, such as the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN).

In a separate post, Cosmos Darwin, a senior program manager on Microsoft’s Core OS team, talks about the company skipping a step for this release:

Windows Server 2019 is the first version to skip the classic Release To Manufacturing (RTM) milestone and go directly to General Availability (GA). This change is motivated by the increasing popularity of virtual machines, containers, and deploying in the cloud. But it also means the hardware ecosystem hasn’t had the chance to validate and certify systems or components before the release; instead, they start doing so today.

As before, to ensure our customers are successful and have the smoothest experience, Microsoft recommends deploying Storage Spaces Direct on hardware validated by the Windows Server Software-Defined (WSSD) program. The first wave of WSSD offers for Windows Server 2019 will launch in mid-January 2019, in about three months. We’ll share more details about the WSSD launch event soon.

Until the first wave of hardware is available, attempting to use features like Storage Spaces Direct or Software-Defined Networking (SDN) displays an advisory message and requires an extra step to configure. This is normal and expected – see KB4464776. Microsoft will remove the message for everyone immediately after the WSSD launch event in January, via Windows Update.

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