July 14, 2017 // 11:39 a.m.
Microsoft has officially announced that it is extending the Windows Insider beta-testing programme to its Windows Server platform, effective immediately, allowing members of the public to test out upcoming changes to Windows Server for the first time.
Announced back in 2014, the Windows Insider programme was one half of a major paradigm shift in the way Microsoft developed and sold software. Leading up to the launch of Windows 10, members of the public were invited to join the free Windows Insider programme and receive beta versions of the operating system on a regular basis - previewing changes and providing feedback that, in theory at least, would affect the final release of the operating system. When Windows 10 hit Gold Master status the Windows Insider programme continued, allowing users to preview changes planned for Microsoft's regular feature update releases - the second part of the company's paradigm shift, where Windows 10 becomes the 'last version' of Windows and future updates are provided free of charge twice a year.
Previously, the Windows Insider programme has focused primarily on consumer software with tracks available for Windows 10 and its Mobile incarnations. Now, though, Microsoft is officially welcoming system administrators into the fold with the launch of the first ever Windows Server Insider beta.
The Windows Server Build 16237 release is being made available through both the Windows Insider programme and the enterprise-oriented Windows Insiders for Business programme. As with previous releases, membership is free and anyone can download and install the software; two licence keys, good for unlimited activations of Windows Server Datacentre Core and Windows Server Standard Core respectively, are available from the bottom of the official announcement blog.