Microsoft Teases New Features with First Windows Server 2025 Preview Build

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Key Takeaways:

  • Microsoft has announced the release of the first Windows Server 2025 Preview Build for IT admins enrolled in the Windows Insider program.
  • Windows Server 2025 will include features such as SMB over QUIC, Active Directory enhancements, hotpatching support, and storage improvements.
  • Microsoft has also introduced a new Windows Server flighting feature, allowing administrators to upgrade systems seamlessly through an in-place OS upgrade.

Microsoft has recently announced the release of Windows Server Insider Preview Build 26040. The company also revealed the official branding for the upcoming Windows Server product called Windows Server 2025.

In November, Microsoft announced that Windows Server 2025 should include several new capabilities for enterprise customers. The release will introduce features like SMB over QUIC, Active Directory page sizing improvements, hotpatching support, storage enhancements, and a new pay-as-you-go subscription option for enterprise users. A new feature will also let administrators block NTLM authentication for SMB connections.

Microsoft Teases New Features with First Windows Server 2025 Preview Build
Windows Server 2025 System Properties

Last week, Microsoft also announced the launch of flighting for Windows Server Insiders. It enables IT administrators to install new builds via an in-place OS upgrade rather than performing a clean installation. An in-place OS upgrade helps to preserve applications, data, and user settings to make the transition to the new version less disruptive for end users.

“From now on, we plan to publish each new build to Windows Update (aka “flighting”) at the same time we publish the familiar ISO to our Windows Server insider community. It’s your choice to upgrade using Setup as before, or to use Windows Update for the same,” explained Artem Pronichkin, Software Engineer at Microsoft.

Windows Server 2025 expected in Fall this year

Microsoft notes that IT admins will need to manually check for new builds through the Settings menu unless automatic updates are enabled on their machines. The flighting feature is currently only available in the Windows Server preview builds. Microsoft says administrators will need to use the Desktop experience to access the Settings app.

Microsoft announced the general availability of Windows Server 2022 back in September 2021. The company has yet to announce a release date for Windows Server 2025, but it’s expected to be available sometime in Fall 2024.