Hellooooooooo, EVERYBODEEEEEEEE! There is much speculation on the Windows Server 2016 official release date.

From Sesame Street's beloved children's story, "There's a Monster at the end of this book".
From Sesame Street’s beloved children’s story, “There’s a Monster at the end of this book”.

One of the benefits of being one of Microsoft’s strongest partners for more than a quarter century is being invited to programs like the Windows Server 2016 early-adopters program.

Aside from getting our developers’ hands on the pre-release bits for the next Windows Server operating system, we also get “insider information” on anticipated release dates. Of course it also helps that we have a dedicated dev team for Microsoft integration just a short bike ride away from their HQ in Redmond Washington. And yes, I’ve made that bike ride. #ShowUpSweaty

Now, I am bound by my loyalty (even more by my non-disclosure agreement) to not publicly say what those dates might or might not be. And keeping a secret like this is killing me–KILLING me. In the words of Charlie Brown, “AAAAAUUUUUGGGGGGHHHH!!”

As you may know, Microsoft already released the Technical Preview 4 to the early adopters. This is a major milestone for Server 2016 and is a good indicator that the actual Release To Manufacturer (RTM) and General Availability (GA) is approaching. And as Bill Burley previously stated, we will release support for XenApp and XenDesktop in line with Microsoft’s release. In fact, he used the term “Day 1.”


One of the features available in this latest Technical Preview is Nano server, which boasts a much smaller footprint, faster setup time and far fewer updates than Server core. It’s also “owned” by Jeffrey Snover who is a humble genius, IMO. He invented PowerShell!

Also, I am a big fan of virtualization technologies ever since joining a little startup called Softricity. We used the term “isolation” back then to describe how we eliminated DLL hell. Well, in Server 2016, they introduce “containers” as a way to deploy many isolated applications on one computer system. I like to think of it as the next evolution of SoftGrid, but really it’s more like Dockers for Windows.

But wait! There’s More!

Because Citrix is an early adopter for Server 2016, that means we can offer our own XenApp and XenDesktop 7.8 for your Technical Preview of Windows Server. That’s right, you can install the 7.8 VDA on your TP of Server 2016 and test out publishing virtual apps and server-based desktops. Oh, and controller and supporting components can also be installed on the TP of 2016.

Here’s the short list of go dos:

  • Try the 7.8 VDA on the Server 2016 TP 4 and experience the XenApp published app experience
  • Try key XenApp and XenDesktop management components like the Controller install on a 2016 TP
  • Share your feedback on the 2016 TP Discussion Forum

Of course, Server 2016 is not intended for production environments. So keep this to test lab only until 2016 actually releases on, …. OOPS! Almost slipped there. ::wipes brow:: PHEW!

Act Now

Don’t walk, RUN to grab the latest bits for XenApp and XenDesktop 7.8 and read the brilliance that is Carisa Stringer on all that is new and improved in this release.

I can’t stand it any longer! I have to tell you the Windows Server 2016 release date before I burst. So, here it is. The Windows Server 2016 official release date is … Oh, wait, a group of very large men wearing sunglasses, dressed in black suits just pulled up out front in a caravan of large royal blue SUV’s. They look really mad … let me go see what they want. BRB.

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