Windows Server 2016 RTM, System Center 2016 RTM and Azure Stack TP2 – now available

Great news! Windows Server 2016 was launched yesterday on Microsoft Ignite conference. Windows Server 2016 is a next major release of Windows Server after 2012, and it's packed with great new features and enhancements. Windows Server 2016, System Center 2016 and Windows Azure Pack allow service providers to build scalable, stable and cost efficient IaaS solutions for various customers. It is a great server OS to run traditional applications and datacenter infrastructure, and at the same time it delivers an unprecedented amount of innovation to help customers transition workloads to a more secure, efficient and agile cloud model.
Check my post about new Windows Server 2016 features for Service Providers.

RTM version of Windows Server 2016 now available for download as evaluation:

System Center 2016 RTM evaluation also became available:

Here you can find the information about the conversion of evaluation version to retail.

SPLA partners need to download licensed software (installation media and product keys) from VLSC portal. You can install Windows Server 2016 on hosts and inside guest VMs using AVMA and KMS keys.

And the last thing - Azure Stack Technical Preview 2 is also available for download:

Try it now in your own environment and feel the power of the latest and greatest Microsoft private cloud technologies. I will cover all these new products later, so stay tuned and don't forget to subscribe!

UPD 12.10.2016: Windows Server 2016 RTM and System Center 2016 RTM were published on VLSC and MSDN portals today. Download VL installation media and product keys there.


Comments (27)
  1. Jérôme DUMET says:

    Hi !

    Great news ! 🙂 Can we upgrade later to retail version like Windows Server 2012 ?

    1. Thx Jerome! I’ve added this link to the post.

      1. Byron Boudreaux [MSFT] says:

        Unfortunately it appears the Eval to Retail conversion on Server 2016 does not work for Core installs…only for installs with the Desktop Experience.

        1. Yep, that’s right – Core can’t be converted. The same for Nano server.

  2. Mike says:

    Is the RTM on MSDN?

      1. Mike says:

        Any idea when?

        1. I haven’t seen any information about that.

  3. Jim Galbally says:

    Unable to do any in-place upgrades, presumably as the media is Eval and not retail. anyone know a way to get an in-place upgrade to work off the eval media?

    For new machines ive installed eval them done a dism /online /set-edition successfully.

    1. If you want to upgrade Windows Server 2012 R2 to 2016 in-place, then you need VL or Retail installation media, which will become available until the middle of October. Eval can’t be used for that.

  4. Ferron says:

    Can I install the 2016 RTM in a production environment?
    Will this version be updated to the version that will be release middle October?

    1. Currently only RTM EVAL version is available, but you can convert it into VL version, link to the instruction is available in the post. You need to have Windows Server 2016 licenses for that (became available for the 1st of October). In a week or two VL installation media and product keys will be available on VLSC portal.

      1. Ferron says:

        Thank you for the information. Do you get the version that will be release middle October trough windows update? Or do you have to update it with the installation media?

        1. It is not related to Windows Update. You will receive installation media and product keys in the same way as you did it before.

          1. Ferron says:

            I understand that you can convert the license. But after you converted the installation you don’t have to reinstall or upgrade windows server 2016 RTM to the GA version?

          2. No need to reinstall, you’ll need only to activate the OS.

  5. Tech Ninja says:

    Does this apply to MSDN versions as well. Meaning can I convert eval to msdn version later with a key?

      1. Tech Ninja says:

        Cool thanks. I’ve been dying to test the storage spaces.

  6. Florian says:

    Tried to install a Domain Controller with that version. I can only choose Domain Functional Level ‘Technical Preview 5’?!

    1. Try the installation media from MSDN or VLSC, that was published today.

      1. Florian says:

        Already done 🙂
        Nevertheless very confusing in Eval version.

  7. Lancorp says:

    I’m having issues activating it with the key given on the downloads page (for the 180 day eval).
    Refuses to activate. Anyone else having a problem? I’m Trying 2016 Essentials and the key is the one that starts with R9N79-…

    1. Casey Puyleart says:

      I’m having the same issue with the 2016 Essentials eval key – says it’s not a valid key.

  8. lukas says:


    can you tell me please. We would like buy Windows server 2016 and we use about 20-30 Windows XP Pro as clients for Active Direcotry. Are XP comatibles with Windows server 2016 ? Thanks you

    1. Check it on eval version before you buy. I assume it should be OK, because at Forest and Domain Level 2012 supports Windows XP. And Windows Server 2016 DC can work on 2012 level.

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