WZor leaks Windows Server 10 Preview build 9926, overview of new Nano Server

Build 9926 is likely unstable, but the pared-down Nano Server may be Windows Server's future

WZor leaks Windows Server 10 Preview build 9926, overview of new Nano Server
Credit: flickr/eflon

After dribbling out screenshots of a mainstream internal build of Windows Server 10, the Russian leakers know as WZor finally posted the whole enchilada Sunday afternoon. WZor also posted a deck of PowerPoint slides, apparently intended for Microsoft Partners, that fleshes out a new, headless version of Windows Server called Nano Server, the "nucleus of next-gen cloud infrastructure" with extensive born-in-the-cloud application support.

If you really want to try a beta version of the Windows Server 10 Technical Preview that Microsoft apparently provided to Partners -- but didn't want to push to the unwashed masses -- you can probably find the bits by searching on one of the following:

  • MICROSOFT.WINDOWS.SERVER.10.TECHNICAL.PREVIEW.2.BUILD.9926.OEM_RETAIL.ENGLISH.DVD-WZT
  • 9926.0.150119-1648.FBL_AWESOME1501_SERVER_OEMRET_X64FRE_EN-US
  • MD5: FBFFA69F7BD6721B7D5CE7A36ECF85B3
  • SHA1: F7B9C7AD831442C407CB85CFB955BED333368CEA

The size is 4,348,241,920 bytes.

Early reports are that it's unstable. That would certainly explain why Microsoft hasn't released the bits. Only you can decide if it's worth the effort to play with an old and unstable build from Jan. 19. (Build 9926 is the same build that's on the current Windows 10 Technical Preview 2.)

Microsoft hasn't released a new build of Windows Server 10 since build 9841 last October.

The Nano Server slides, though, point to a new (if not totally unexpected), severely pared-down version of Windows Server 10. Brought to light by Brad Sams at Neowin, you can find the deck on WZor's site on LiveJournal, which also sports a spiffy new "WZ Inc" logo.

The presentation, purportedly from Refaat Issa, a senior program manager on Microsoft's PowerShell team, shows the general direction Microsoft will take to turn Windows Server into a zero-footprint, 100 percent remotely managed OS that runs equally well on raw hardware or in a VM, containerized, with far fewer reboots required, a smaller attack surface, and much lower hardware consumption. According to the slides it will support Hyper-V, clustering, CoreCLR, ASP.Net vNext, PaaS v2, and containers, as well as "full driver support" and antimalware.

Yes, it'll be compatible with all existing Windows Server apps.

The deck includes a slide that analyzes 2014 security bulletins; it shows a full Windows Server would need to be rebooted 11 times over the year, while a Server Core installation would require six reboots and a Nano Server would only take three reboots.

When will Nano Server arrive? Your guess is as good as mine. The penultimate slide, written in traditional PowerPoint obfuscatory style, gives its status:

  • Will be part of the next release of Windows Server
    • Limited TAP (deployment to Technology Adapter Program participants) in early 2015
    • Will not be part of next Windows Server preview
      • Will be in next release after that

Neowin translates that mind-numbing cascade as meaning Nano Server "will be part of the release following the next release, so you should be able to get your hands on Nano Server in the next several months."

We'll see.

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