In October last year, Microsoft provided more information about the next version of Windows Server and System Center and releasing a Technical Preview of both products. At that time it provided more details about upcoming features in the next version of Windows Server and only detailing deprecating features for the System Center Suite. In a blog post last Friday, Microsoft outlined the roadmap for the upcoming versions of Windows Server and System Center.
Up until now, the releases of the Client OS Windows and Server OS followed each other up in a short timeframe. For unknown reasons, Microsoft has now decided to delay the release of Windows Server vNext and System Center vNext to 2016, while still planning to release its client OS (Windows 10) at the end of this year. One product within the System Center suite, System Center Configuration Manager though will be released in the same time frame as Windows 10. Configuration Manager provides the Enterprise Client Management part of the System Center Suite, and is a necessary component for companies which want to manager the Windows Client OS with System Center tooling.
For 2015, Microsoft is planning on releasing more technical previews, with the first new technical preview expected for the spring of 2015. While officially Microsoft didn’t disclose why they delayed the release of Windows Server and System Center to 2016. Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley mentions that it could have something to do with customers who will wait with upgrading from Windows Server 2003 (for which support ends this July) until the new version of Windows Server would ship later this year. Microsoft wants to prevent this by stating that the current Windows Server version (2012 R2) is the version to migrate to.
Releasing Windows Server and System Center vNext in 2016, will result in customers starting to implement the products late 2016, beginning 2017. This is very far away, especially nowadays where most software products are followed up by product updates in a very rapid way. Time will tell, if Microsoft by that time will still be relevant, mainly on the Management Part of Private Cloud infrastructures, since most of its competitors in that market space release more often and Microsoft itself on the Public Cloud space is releasing new features monthly.