One of the things that was part of the launch roadshow we ran late last year for Windows Server 2016 was the discussion around the requirement for Nano Server in production environments needing Software Assurance coverage alongside the base OEM license. This was driven through the need for new capabilities to be rolled into Nano Server at an accelerated rate, and now we are seeing how this is going to be implemented.
For full details, check out Delivering continuous innovation with Windows Server, Changes to Nano Server in the next release of Windows Server and Windows Server Semi-annual Channel Overview, but here are some o the highlights of the posts.
Nano Server and Server Core are both coming to the Semi-annual channel
Nano Server is shifting its focus to container based duties only rather than also supporting infrastructure roles as it does today.
The Long-term Servicing Channel will continue to receive security and non-security updates, but it will not receive the new features and functionality.
Pre-release builds of Windows Server will be available for download via the Windows Insider Program and the Windows Insider Program for Business.
We will revisit this topic when we can share the full impact of the announcement on Windows Server SKUs as sold in through the OEM and System Builder channels, so stay tuned.