It's hard to believe that 20 years ago, Microsoft introduced the first OS for the masses, democratizing IT platforms and tools to help IT build solutions that drive success.
We're excited to introduce the latest milestone in this long history, Windows Server 2016! Walk with us through 20 years of history to see how Windows Server has evolved into a cloud platform for the masses.Learn more about Windows Server 2016
20 years ago, we started with...
Windows NT 4.0 Server arrived at a time when big iron systems running on Unix ruled, which required large investments in hardware and extensive expertise. Microsoft software engineer David Cutler built a new kernel that was the foundation of NT. By coupling the intuitive desktop UI for the first time, organizations could quickly set up company-wide file, print, and application servers using commodity hardware.
Software engineer David Cutler discusses the origins of
"We use internal code names for new versions of Windows Server while we're developing them.
It wasn't until I had a chance to ski down Springboard and grab a drink at Longhorn that I realized each codename was taken from a Whistler ski run or pub."Nir Ben-Zvi, Principal Program Manager,
"Microsoft is working on an Operating System called NT—it will knock the socks off Unix, and make the Sys5 vs BSD wars irrelevant."MICROSOFT DEVELOPER, 1993
With Windows 2000 Server, Microsoft enters the world of centralized enterprise management. With higher levels of scalability, reliability, and availability, Windows 2000 Server also included new features such as Active Directory (an X.500 LDAP-compatible directory), group policies, enterprise-wide security policies, and centralized groups and permissions.
"The immediate return on investment and the way Windows 2000 Server maps to our long-term goals makes it a perfect fit for our business. The upgrade was so easy—it only took several weeks—we're anxious to roll it out and use it throughout our service offerings."Mike Connor, SVP, Brokerage Services Group,
Windows Server 2003 brought the ease of Visual Basic into a modern era of managed code through the .NET Framework, allowing for native applications to be written specifically to meet the needs of the enterprise running native and managed code. This would become the foundation for the explosion of developers writing native apps using ASP.NET, VB.NET, and C#.
Chief Software Architect Bill Gates unveils Windows Longhorn.
Expanding on enterprise computing and into interoperability and virtualization, Windows Server 2003 saw the introduction of WinRM, a SOAP-compliant remote management interface. Other improvements would bring Virtual Server 2005 and, for the first time, branch office solutions. This year Jeffrey Snover, Chief Architect of Windows Server and Microsoft System Center, will introduce Project Monad, which will mature into PowerShell.
"For the third year in a row we've seen the greatest growth coming from the Microsoft segment of the market. A big part of this growth has been driven by the strong reputation of SQL Server and the Windows Server stack."Darryl Barr, Director of Product Management,
With the mantra "Server Unleashed," Windows Server 2008 introduces Server Core, a small-footprint server that allows for higher density computing. This release would also usher in the Viridian hypervisor kernel that is the foundation of Hyper-V, giving Microsoft a native Type 1 hardware virtualization solution. Windows Server 2008 is the last of the 32-bit servers.
"The server is unleashed" in this ad for Windows Server 2008.
"It's more affordable to create a high-availability environment with Windows than with other proprietary systems because the hardware is less expensive. That's what we've done with our Windows Server 2008 environment, and we're really pleased with the reliability."Ronny Chapman, General Manager of Originations,
With the launch of Windows Server 2008 R2, Microsoft shifts exclusively into 64-bit architecture for the server line. Combined with Microsoft System Center, the first Microsoft private cloud solution is introduced with the Dynamic Datacenter Toolkit, laying the foundation for the next wave in cloud computing.
Microsoft VP Brad Andersen discusses the
Windows Server 2012 opened the door to every app on any cloud. It gave users the flexibility to build and deploy applications and websites on-premises, in the cloud, and in a hybrid environment―empowering IT to enable the modern work style where users have access to data and applications from virtually anywhere, from any device.
The cloud OS is here, introduced in this video from
the Windows Server 2012 Launch Tour.
Windows Server 2012 R2 introduced new and enhanced features that empowered users to efficiently utilize the capacity of their datacenters. To help protect investments in existing cross-platform technologies, it also offered expanded support for a heterogeneous datacenter, including for Linux.
Microsoft programmer Jeff Woolsey introduces Windows
Server 2012 R2.
As organizations move to the cloud at their own pace, Windows Server 2016 supports them through their transition. Whether running traditional workloads or the latest cloud-native apps and technology, users get added availability and new layers of security from the same OS that powers Azure.
Windows Server 2016 gives you the power to better prevent attacks and detect suspicious activity with new features to control privileged access, protect virtual machines, and harden the platform against emerging threats.
Windows Server 2016 delivers a more flexible and cost-efficient operating system for your datacenter, using software-defined compute, storage, and network virtualization features inspired by Azure.
Innovate faster with an application platform optimized for both traditional and cloud-native apps.
Jeffrey Snover shares how to thrive through the transition from datacenter to cloud.