Microsoft held its online Windows Server Summit event and pointed towards its plans for Windows Server 2019. As you may know, the next iteration of Windows Server is being tested by Windows Insider ahead of its launch. Just last week, Microsoft introduced Hyper-V Server 2019 for the service.

At the Windows Server Summit, Microsoft general manager of Azure infrastructure marketing, Arpan Shah, confirmed Windows Server 2019 will launch later this year. Speaking during the keynote speech, Shah also revealed Windows Server 2008 R2 will not be supported beyon January 2020. That is expected, but Microsoft says organizations need to prepare to update now.

During the event, Microsoft discussed its four main investment areas in Windows Server 2019. Specifically, the company will focus on security, application support, hyperconverged infrastructure, and hybrid support.

Microsoft will continue to embrace Linux with support for Shielded Virtual Machines on the platform. Erin Chapple, corporate vice president of Windows Server, said the company envisions container storage as “easy on ramp to modernizing applications.”

Containers are supported in Windows Server through Nano Server or Server Core installs. Microsoft says it will continue to push investment into both installation technologies. In terms of Nano Server, Microsoft only recommends it for hosting containers. However, Chapple admits there is still plenty of customer interest in Nano.

The company was eager to discuss how Windows Server 19 and Azure interact with each other in a hybrid environment. A demo of Azure File Sync showed how files can be shared directly from Azure datacenters. As well as coming to Windows Server 2019, this ability is also working in Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2016.

Windows Admin Center

Microsoft also dedicated plenty of time to the Windows Admin Center. The company released the feature in April after we had previously followed it as Project Honolulu. At the Windows Server Summit event, Microsoft said the service is managing over one million nodes.