Next Windows Server and System Center Products Arriving 2016
Microsoft now plans to release its next Windows Server and System Center products sometime in 2016.
In recent years, Microsoft has tended to ship its Windows client and Windows Server products in close proximity to one another. This week's roadmap announcement by Microsoft breaks from that pattern. While the next Windows Server product is planned for arrival in 2016, the Windows 10 client product is expected to arrive in the latter half of this year.
The next System Center suite of products is expected to get released in 2016, but Microsoft seems to be making an exception with the System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) component. The next SCCM product will ship a bit earlier to coincide with the release the Windows 10 product, according to Microsoft's announcement. That means the next SCCM product will be available late this year.
Back in September, Microsoft had indicated that the next SCCM release would deliver "full support for client deployment, upgrade, and management of Windows 10." Microsoft is also planning to extend those same Windows 10 deployment, upgrade and management capabilities to System Center 2012 R2 and System Center 2012 Service Pack 1 SCCM editions.
On the other hand, SCCM used with System Center 2007 versions R2, R3 and Service Pack 2 will just have the ability to manage Windows 10. Those 2007 SCCM versions won't have deployment and upgrade capabilities for Windows 10, according to that September announcement.
Microsoft also plans to update its Microsoft Deployment Toolkit with support for Windows 10. The Microsoft Deployment Toolkit is a free set of tools that can be used for packaging desktop and server deployments.
Of course, Microsoft also has its Intune mobile device management service, and it also will be updated to support Windows 10.
Microsoft said back in September that it was delaying the preview release of its next-generation SCCM solution until sometime in the first half of 2015. Microsoft's early System Center preview releases have tended to be fragmentary and they have lacked a lot of capabilities. The company originally had released "early pre-release builds" of its next-generation System Center and Windows Server products back in October.
Additional preview releases of Microsoft's next-generation Windows Server and System Center products will roll out throughout this year, according to Microsoft's announcement. The next preview release is planned for this spring, so that might be when the next SCCM preview will be available. Microsoft will be kicking off its big Ignite show in May, which combines multiple Microsoft IT pro events into one, so an SCCM preview possibly might be available around that time frame.
Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.