back to article CONFIRMED: Tiny Windows Server is on the way

Microsoft's plans to decompose Windows Server into a far lighter and leaner beast are real. On Monday we reported on the emergence of a Microsoft slide deck outlining a “Nano” version of Windows Server aimed at the cloud. Microsoft's now pointed to an earlier statement about just what it plans. The pointer came in a Tweet …

  1. P. Lee Silver badge
    Angel

    Hello, I'm a PC.

    And I'm a cowboy.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Sadly, these days too many cowboys get let loose near too many computers with the usual results…

  2. Christian Berger Silver badge

    What's tiny?

    Considering you can still get tmsrtbt a Linux distribution which is great for imaging hard disks, which boots of a single floppy disk, or you can get a small version of MS-Dos 6.22 and Windows 3.x onto a floppy disk, what does Microsoft consider tiny?

    Also the Register should make an article about all those broken promises from Microsoft. Anybody remember Windows 95? That was supposed to be and even marketed as having no more MS-Dos below.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What's tiny?

      >>>> Also the Register should make an article about all those broken promises from Microsoft. Anybody remember Windows 95? That was supposed to be and even marketed as having no more MS-Dos below.

      Yep, and it was still a great improvement on what we had before.

      And in the *20 years* since, Google and Facebook have robbed your privacy, apple have created the ultimate walled garden, huge unix security holes have been found that affect virtually every installation, google have shipped the android malware, and you're not supposed to mention (or do?) anything personal in front of your Samsung TV as it reports back to God-knows-who. Oh and the mobile phone companies knew about voicemail hacking in the year 2000, and managed to completely dodge the bullet when the shit hit the fan ten years later.

      So maybe Microsoft aren't so bad...

      1. Christian Berger Silver badge

        Re: What's tiny?

        You have heard of the original MSN, haven't you?

        It sent a list of all your directories to Microsoft. If it wasn't for the FOSS-movement and the Internet, we'd now be stuck with Microsoft provided set top boxes which would provide us with "interactive television" instead of the Internet.

        In fact now Microsoft actually _fixes_ bugs. This would have been unheard of before Linux became popular. They even did internal code reviews.

        We do have it better now than in the 1990s. Most hardware now supports Linux or some BSD. We do have so much FOSS that some developers are already looking at wasting their time and efforts for pointless projects. Even the most complex pieces of software, browsers, are now mostly open source.

        Yes there's still a lot to be done in mobile devices, but even there you can get rid of Google or Apple and run at least quite a bit of FOSS by installing ReplicantDroid.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What's tiny?

        >Anybody remember Windows 95? That was supposed to be and even

        >marketed as having no more MS-Dos below.

        And even built as no more MS-Dos below. And even loaded as no more MS-Dos below. And even run as no more MS-Dos below. And even crashed as no more MS-Dos below. And even documented as no more MS-Dos below. And even dissasembled as no more MS-Dos below.

        The GRUB people used to regard the Linux Kernel as not really an OS -- just an application program which ran on top of their bootloader. For the rest of us, that's not helpful or true. And you've had 20 years to get over it now.

      3. Magnus_Pym

        Re: What's tiny?

        "And in the *20 years* since, Google and Facebook have robbed your privacy, apple have created the ultimate walled garden, huge unix security holes have been found that affect virtually every installation, google have shipped the android malware, and you're not supposed to mention (or do?) anything personal in front of your Samsung TV as it reports back to God-knows-who. Oh and the mobile phone companies knew about voicemail hacking in the year 2000, and managed to completely dodge the bullet when the shit hit the fan ten years later."

        TL:DR Everyone is guilty of something therefore no-one is guilty of anything.

      4. Jim 59

        Re: What's tiny?

        And in the *20 years* since...

        And in the 20 years since Microsoft have single-handedly birthed the entire malware/hacking/virus/botnet culture which dominates today's Internet. After bad-mouthing the 'Net for 5 years, they finally put Windows (NT) on it with virtually NO rigorous security, and history hasn't been the same since. Today, the Internet is infested with bot armies, owing their entire existence to unsecured legacy Windows kit, and millions of lines of legacy MS code in which nasties can hide virtually forever.

        "huge unix security holes" don't matter because when discovered they snap shut almost immediately, a natural consequence of community-driven open source. If your server were attacked today, it is unlikely to come from a Unix workstation, and more likely to originate on the Vista laptop of some of some blissfully unaware housewife in Chile or wherever.

        Errr... despite the rant I actually agree with you 80%, have an upvote.

        1. Jim 59

          Re: What's tiny?

          I said 'Net attacks rarely come from Unix servers IMO. But on second thoughts, many civilians are buying Raspberry Pi's these days and putting them on the web in a badly advised manner, eg. running SSH services and the like with no security - and getting hacked. This may be adding to the botnet problem. Against that though, the Pi owner usually scrubs the OS after a few days.

          1. Jim 59

            Re: What's tiny?

            Lol. In the Reg forums, people vote down your seemingly banal postlets, while ignoring the massively tendentious rant you did posted above.

      5. td97402

        RE: So maybe Microsoft aren't so bad...

        Yes, they are pretty bad. You are engaging in deflection. Microsoft has actually been convicted of crimes. Were it not for some "hanging chad" in Florida, Microsoft might have even been broken up back in the early 2000s.

  3. Phil Kingston Silver badge

    My, what a nice hat.

  4. Nolveys Silver badge
    Windows

    Could be okay...

    It could be okay, assuming that it doesn't suck and doesn't break the bank.

    All I really want out of Windows (ANY Windows) is for the OS to load programs into memory and run them with the smallest amount of farting about possible. TIFKAM can piss right off, in fact almost all of the user space filth in 8, 7, 2008, 2003 and even XP can piss right off as well.

    I'm still using XP images in VMs because 7 eats too much disk. If this eats less disk (or even slightly more), has less-or-comparable bullshit going on and has the updated security of more recent Redmond offerings then it might be worth giving a try.

    Lots of "if"s, "and"s and definitely butts. We shall see.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Could be okay...

      If you put the same effort in breaking out of the lock-in as you do trying to make Windows work, the outcome would be much better in the long run.

      1. Alister Silver badge

        Re: Could be okay...

        If you put the same effort in breaking out of the lock-in as you do trying to make Windows work, the outcome would be much better in the long run.

        I notice you post this as AC...

        Some of us work for companies that use Windows, some for companies that develop Windows software, are you suggesting that we should "break out of the lock-in"? If I go to my company directors, and say "That Anonymous Coward says we should stop using Windows software, change our core business, because it'll be better in the long run" do you think I will still have a job?

        As it happens, I administer Windows, Linux, and Apple hardware and software. They are all of them, in different ways, painful to manage, and particularly to get them all to work together.

        Comments like yours are borne of ignorance or arrogance, either way they are stupid.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Could be okay...

          If I go to my company directors, and say "That Anonymous Coward says we should stop using Windows software, change our core business, because it'll be better in the long run" do you think I will still have a job?

          No, because you're just quoting what someone said without doing any of your own work - with or without their moniker. Think out of the box, do some research, produce a report, present.

          My point was, if the effort for working within the lock-in is equal to the effort involved in breaking out of it, then it's worth looking into. I did, and it paid off. Might not work for everyone, depends on the situation and culture.

          Comments like yours are borne of ignorance or arrogance, either way they are stupid.

          Not ignorance, because I've been there and done it. Just arrogance: I assumed the majority of readers of my quip where technically adept and not held back by politics. So looking back, it was a pretty stupid comment for this forum.

  5. Jim 59

    Tiny Windows Server

    That would be the RPi 2 running Windows 10 ...?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Tiny Windows Server

      Yep, a tiny computer running an OS with an even tinier application market.

  6. OttawaCynic

    Did no one else notice the trend

    Microsoft announced a version of windows 10 for Raspberry Pi - an ARM processor.

    Now they announce a small footprint for a core server. What chip is common on small systems - an ARM processor.

    I predict the next announcement is some kind of runtime / install time utility to allow Intel binary to run on ARM. This will allow migration of developed code to the new platform.

    1. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

      Re: Did no one else notice the trend

      "install time utility to allow Intel binary to run on ARM"

      why the heck would Microsoft want to do that? Microsoft provides compilers to build native ARM binaries, there is no need to run x86 binaries on ARM.

      Given that Windows Server already runs on Intel Atom, next logical step could be making Windows Server (*small business and home office edition) available under ARM based NAS devices. Will they actually do that? No bloody idea, but it appears (to me) to have business sense.

    2. ssharwood

      Re: Did no one else notice the trend

      Trust me. This will be sorted on Monday.

  7. Richard Plinston Silver badge

    Re: Did no one else notice the trend

    > Microsoft announced a version of windows 10 for Raspberry Pi - an ARM processor.

    I am sure that conjures up images of a full desktop system running just like Raspian Linux does, or even something like Surface RT or even Windows Phone. In fact MS have stated that it is the 'IoT' version (Internet of Things) and will provide similar facilities to 'other boards'. The other board is the Intel Galileo and this provides _no_ display at all, no GUI, no command line.

    > Now they announce a small footprint for a core server.

    Windows 10 or RaspberryPi is going to be more like an embedded server. It may even manage some display capability and possibly a command line text interface.

    > I predict the next announcement is some kind of runtime / install time utility to allow Intel binary to run on ARM. This will allow migration of developed code to the new platform.

    This is the usual highly optimistic speculation often made by uninformed MS fans whenever an announcement is made. Emulation of an x86 or x86-64 on an ARM chip is extremely unlikely for anything other than trivial stuff. I would run so slowly and be so bloated that it would not be worth while.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      "The other board is the Intel Galileo and this provides _no_ display at all, no GUI, no command line."

      Because the Galileo doesn't have a beast of a Broadcom GPU like the Raspberry Pi does.

      Quote Eben, Interview on the Register:

      "“What we’re talking about here is Windows 10 for IoT [Internet of Things]; there hasn’t been a statement about capabilities,” Upton explains. “We’re not necessarily talking about PowerPoint or the Windows desktop. Microsoft will make a statement on what exact capabilities they plan to bring to the device fairly soon.”

      "Cross-device compatibility will be there thanks to Microsoft's "Universal App" strategy, based on the Windows Runtime platform (once known as Metro. Although the desktop might not be available, the Windows build will support visual applications. “It is a headed device, HDMI primarily at the moment but then LCD panels in due course.”

      There are people on discussion forums all over the web trying to tell others what Win10 IoT is going to be like on Raspberry Pi. In fact nobody who is not involved in porting it to the Pi actually knows. Maybe the people in the project haven't made a final decision yet.

  8. Christopher E. Stith
    Go

    just buy Mandriva already

    Oracle and Novell->Attachmate->MicroFocus got into the game. It's time for Microsoft to buy a team and offer a Microsoft Linux distro, or maybe a BSD flavor. That way they can put IE, Office, and Visual Studio on Windows, OS X, BSD, and Linux clients and put Exchange and Sharepoint on Windows, OS X, BSD, and Linux servers without this Windows vs. Linux rant fest going on all the time.

    1. Archaon
      Facepalm

      Re: just buy Mandriva already

      and put Exchange and Sharepoint on Windows, OS X, BSD, and Linux servers without this Windows vs. Linux rant fest going on all the time.

      OS X Servers? Don't make me laugh.

      Unless Apple have reversed their decision and suddenly snuck out something better than the Mac Mini servers...

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