Microsoft releases new containerised cut of Windows Server

Microsoft's three containerised Windows Server options

Microsoft’s released a new version of Windows called “windows” that ships as a container image.

Why does the world need a new Windows?

Because Microsoft’s chats with developers have taught it that they want something with more functionality than either Nano Server or Windows Server Core.

Microsoft’s Lars Iwer, a program manager for Hyper-V, explained, “Quite a few customers were interested in moving their legacy applications into containers to benefit from container orchestration and management technologies like Kubernetes.”

“However, not all applications could be easily containerized, in some cases due to missing components like proofing support which is not included in Windows Server Core.”

Microsoft’s not explained if the new image is full Windows Server or a subset. The graphic atop this story suggests there are more APIs available than in either Nano or Core, and Iwer’s post says reasons for the new imagine include “to run automated UI tests as part of their CI/CD processes or use other graphics capabilities like DirectX which are not available within the other container images.”

We’ve asked Microsoft if it can tell us more about whether the image is full Windows Server or a subset and, if the latter, just what’s inside.

For now, the image is available with a quick docker pull and on Windows Insider preview.

Iwer pledged new builds will flow.

If Microsoft tells us what’s in this image, we’ll update this story.


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