Windows Server 2022 Now Available in Preview

Today Microsoft officially announced the availability of Windows Server 2022 in preview at its Ignite conference, which is running March 2nd to 4th. Windows Server Insider Preview build 20292 is a Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) release and which first appeared at the beginning of February. On the download page, the build was labeled ‘Windows Server 2022 Preview’.

Since then, another Insider build, 20298, has also been made available on LTSC. Microsoft says about Windows Server 2022:

Windows Server 2022, now available in preview, enables customers to run existing and new business-critical applications with confidence on Azure, on-premises and at the edge.

Due to the lack of change log for Windows Server Insider builds, we don’t know the full list of features that Windows Server 2022 will contain. But it is sure to include most features that are part of Windows Server on the Semi-Annual Channel (SAC). Plus, we know that it will include:

  • Chromium version of Edge
  • Support for TLS 1.3
  • AES-256 encryption for SMB

As a LTSC release, Windows Server 2022 includes the Desktop Experience and Server Core installation options for Datacenter and Standard editions. Security features that are part of the current Windows 10 release (20H2) are now included in Windows Server 2022, like tamper and reputation-based protection. Microsoft adds:

Windows Server 2022 improves hybrid server management and has an enhanced event viewer and many more new capabilities in Windows Admin Center. Furthermore, this release includes improvements to Windows containers, such as smaller image size for faster download, simplified network policy implementation and containerization tools for .NET applications.

Secured-Core extended to Windows Server 2022 and edge devices

Secured-Core requires hardware to meet new standards that follow isolation best practices and have minimal trust of firmware. Microsoft says that Secured-Core devices are intended for industries that handle intellectual property, customer, or personal data, including Personally Identifiable Information (PII).

Secured-Core servers are designed to prevent firmware attacks. Using a combination of identity, virtualization, OS, and hardware defenses, Secured-Core servers have protection at both the hardware and software layers. Along with Windows Defender System Guard, which is built-in to Windows Server 2022, Secured-Core servers provide organizations with assurances of OS integrity and verifiable measurements to help prevent firmware attacks. Microsoft says:

This release brings Secured-core to Windows Server to help secure the systems that would run workloads on Windows Server 2022. Secured-core builds on technologies such as System Guard and Windows Server Virtualization-based Security to minimize risk from firmware vulnerabilities and advanced malware.

Windows Server 2022 LTSC

Windows Server 2022 LTSC is for customers that need the most stable build of Windows Server with 5 years of mainstream support and 5 years of extended support. Windows Server on SAC is released on the same cadence as Windows 10 feature updates and it adds new features more quickly for organizations that need to innovate faster. The main difference between the Windows Server on SAC and LTSC are that SAC releases don’t come with the Desktop Experience role.

You can find out more about Windows Server servicing channels here.