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Microsoft Releases Hyper-V Server 2019 After Long Delay

Microsoft on Monday announced that Hyper-V Server 2019 is now available for download from the Microsoft Evaluation Center page.

The formal announcement came in the form of a low-key Twitter post on Monday. It acknowledged that the release took "way too long," but Microsoft offered no explanation for the delay. There was also a Friday chat for Windows Server Insider program testers in which Microsoft indicated that Hyper-V Server 2019 "should also be live on Visual Studio Subscriptions by June 19."

Hyper-V Server 2019 is a free and separate ("standalone") product. It's associated with the Windows Server product, though, so its delay was kind of unusual.

Depending on how it's counted, Hyper-V Server 2019 may be more than eight months overdue from its expected release date. For instance, Windows Server 2019 reached "general availability" (GA) commercial-release status on Oct. 2, 2018. However, Microsoft had explained back then that no certified hardware was available yet because it had skipped the traditional earlier phase known as "release-to-manufacturing" (RTM). During the RTM phase, original equipment manufacturing partners deploy and test the software bits on new server hardware. Without an RTM, organizations simply lacked a product to buy at the GA release stage.

In addition, a file deletion problem associated with Windows 10 version 1809 later caused Microsoft to delay the release of Windows Server 2019. Microsoft indicated that it rereleased Windows Server 2019 on Nov. 13, 2018, according to this Microsoft document. However, Hyper-V Server 2019 still was nowhere to be seen at that time.

The delay in releasing Hyper-V Server 2019 had continued because of problems with Remote Desktop Protocol, as well as an issue affecting installation media, according to this Feb. 25 Spiceworks post, which cited Microsoft forum responses.

According to the calculations in this blog post by Didier Van Hoye, a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional specializing in Hyper-V technologies, Hyper-V Sever 2019 went missing for a total of seven months and two days. He also indicated that the server was first released on June 14, 2019.

While absence might be expected to make the heart grow fonder, the usually enthusiastic Jeff Woolsey, a principal program manager on the Windows Server team at Microsoft, simply issued a short Twitter post asking, "If you're using Hyper-V Server, please tell me why."

Thomas Maurer, a senior cloud advocate at Microsoft, had an answer of sorts in a blog post, saying that Hyper-V Server 2019 "is especially interesting if you don't need to license Windows Server VMs, and is ideal when you run Linux Virtual Machines or VDI VMs."

Maurer added that Hyper-V Server 2019 just has a Server Core installation option. It lacks software-defined datacenter capabilities and only supports features related to virtualization.

Microsoft's delay with Hyper-V Server 2019 had sent the wrong message to its customers, according to Van Hoye, and it fed certain rumors:

The fact that it was missing so long sent many on speculations about the reasons for this. It fed the rumors that Hyper-V is dead to Microsoft and the Windows Server doesn't matter anymore. Taking away the free version had people guessing that Microsoft was not even interested anymore in competing with VMware on this front.

Now, with Hyper-V Server 2019 released, "hopefully" there are reassurances about such concerns, he added.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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