Microsoft earlier last week announced that would release a Windows Server 2019 Essentials edition for small businesses sometime later this year.
This new release, which will succeed to Windows Server 2016 Essentials, will be the last shipped SKU from the Essentials Server family.
“There is a strong possibility that this could be the last edition of Windows Server Essentials.” Microsoft’ indicated in the announcement.
Microsoft said, that Windows Server 2019 Essentials SKU will be the last such edition to cater to small businesses of 25 users and under, or 50 devices.
After, this release the company advises small businesses to use Microsoft 365 for file-sharing and collaboration need, which offers Office 365, Windows 10, and Enterprise Mobility + Security.
“We observed that cloud computing, in addition to affecting how large enterprises think about their data centers, is also impacting how small companies are planning their IT services,” Microsoft stated.
For example, “we have Microsoft 365 Business that is easier to acquire, integrate with other cloud services, and is particularly effective in environments that do not have full-time IT staff.” “Especially, capabilities that small businesses need, like file sharing and collaboration are best achieved with a cloud service like Microsoft 365,” the company wrote.
Furthermore, customers currently using Windows Server 2016 Essentials will be supported according to Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) servicing timeline, “this would also apply to those that update to the 2019 edition.”
Microsoft further advises that Windows Server 2019 Standard and (potentially the Datacenter edition) are more flexible deployment options for companies with “more than 25 users/50 devices,” or “companies that have potentially grown beyond 25 users.”
Though Microsoft believes the future is in cloud computing, however, it also acknowledges that “on-premises servers are still valuable and desired in the short-term for reasons such as price and the ability to run traditional applications that may not yet have corresponding cloud-based functionality.”
Microsoft will be offering a new version of the on-premises server for small businesses – Windows Server 2019 Essentials, alongside the other editions of Windows Server 2019 “later this year.”
Compared to Windows Server 2016, the Windows Server 2019 Essentials will also include “new hardware support, features, and improvements, like Storage Migration Services, System Insights, and many more.”
Microsoft also said that the Essentials Experience role has been dropped from the update, the company says that the Windows Admin Center replaces it.
Microsoft did not provide any official release date for Windows Server 2019 Essentials and other editions of the server OS, though it’s worth noting that Windows Server 2016 Essentials will still be supported through November 2027.