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4 min read

Gain enhanced security and performance with Windows Server 2025—now in preview

We are excited to announce that Windows Server 2025 is available in public preview and ready for you to download in the Evaluation Center. This is the latest in our Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) releases, and it’s scheduled to be generally available later this calendar year. Feedback from customers like you has helped us transform Windows Server 2025 into what we hope you’ll agree is our most secure and innovative version yet. This release delivers advanced security, new Azure hybrid features, a high-performance platform for your existing apps and AI workloads, and a modernized Windows Server experience. Read on for just a few highlights,1 then try it for yourself. 

Windows Server 2025

Download the public preview to try these exciting new features.

Advanced security

With a growing number of cyber security threats and the impact of incidents escalating quickly, security is a top priority for our customers. Windows Server 2025 includes a rich set of security innovations, including:

  • Modern, scalable identity management with new security capabilities in Active Directory.
  • Server Message Block (SMB) improvements including SMB over QUIC and features to help protect against brute force attacks, spoofing, and relay attacks.
  • Security updates with fewer reboots, made possible through Azure Arc-enabled hotpatching, new security capabilities in Active Directory, and SMB hardening.

Hybrid innovation

We’re continuing to hear from our customers that the majority of their organizations work in a hybrid or multicloud state. In fact, a recent survey we conducted revealed that 81% of current hybrid cloud customers expect to remain hybrid for another five years.2 Now, you can innovate and govern anywhere, as Windows Server 2025 delivers improved hybrid cloud capabilities such as:

  • Software-defined network (SDN) multisite features allow for native L2 and L3 connectivity for workloads in multiple locations, and the ease of unified network policy management.
  • Flexible hybrid and multicloud management tools that bring Azure capabilities to your datacenter through Azure Arc.
  • If you want to use Azure hybrid capabilities but haven’t started yet, Windows Server 2025 has features that allow easier onboarding to Azure Arc.

AI, performance, and scale

Are you curious about how your organization can do more with AI? Well, you’ve come to the right place! Azure hosts some of the world’s largest workloads that push the limits of CPU and memory capabilities to process huge data sets across distributed environments. With the growth of AI and machine learning, GPUs have become a key part of cloud solutions because they’re great at performing many parallel operations on large data. Windows Server 2025 brings you many of these advantages across GPUs, storage, networking, and scalability. New features include:

  • GPU partitioning across virtual machines with live migration and failover clustering; built to support AI workloads and inferencing at the edge.
  • Reductions in the time you spend on network setup and issue remediation with new Network Adaptive Traffic Control (ATC) and Network Health and Usage Dashboard (HUD) features.
  • Massive increases in storage performance and vastly improved Hyper-V performance and scalability.3
  • Easy upgrades through Windows Update.

What we’ve provided above is just a quick overview of our top improvement areas for Windows Server 2025. For more details, we encourage you to read more on Microsoft Learn and watch our 2024 Windows Server Summit on demand.

Windows Server customers on the leading edge

While Windows Server 2025 is only coming into its public preview now, we’d like to share just a few inspiring customer stories you might have missed, to help you plot the journey ahead:

  • Hokkoku Bank: This bank laid the initial groundwork for modernization by moving its entire on-premises estate to Windows Server. This created a seamless path to full cloud transformation on Microsoft Azure.
  • DICK’s Sporting Goods: This Windows Server customer created an omnichannel athlete experience using Azure Arc and Azure Kubernetes Service.

System Center 2025

We’re also excited to announce the launch of System Center 2025, a leap forward in infrastructure management, enabling you to make the most of the Windows Server 2025 features from “day 0”. Advanced security focus continues to be a theme for System Center 2025 as well, featuring Azure Key Vault integration and reduced NTLM and Credential Security Support Provider protocol (CredSSP) usage. For hybrid innovation, onboarding machines in your System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) managed datacenters to Azure Arc is simplified with Azure Arc-enabled SCVMM. In addition to at-scale Arc onboarding, it also enables you to manage the lifecycle of the machines in your datacenter in a self-service fashion from Azure. 

Try out the new Windows Server 2025 preview

Today we’ve shared some of the new features and capabilities of Windows Server 2025. They’re the outcome of more than 30 years of working on, refining, and updating the Windows Server platform based on input from dedicated professionals like you. Thank you for being a valuable Windows Server customer and, through your passion and feedback, helping us shape this new release. For more details, read this Windows Server documentation, watch our Windows Server Summit sessions, or check out the “What’s ahead for Windows 2025” video.

Download the Windows Server 2025 preview.

1This information relates to a prerelease product that may be substantially modified before it’s released. Microsoft makes no warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to the information provided here.

2Based on a 2023 Microsoft survey of Windows Server customers using hybrid cloud in their organization. N=197.

3Up to 70% more IOPs on NVMe SSDs; Windows Server 2025 Hyper-V Virtual Machine Maximums: Maximum Memory per VM: 240 Terabytes* (10x previous) ; Maximum Virtual Processors per VM: 2048 VPs* (~8.5x previous) *Requires Generation 2 VMs ; Windows Server 2025 Host Memory Maximums: 4 Petabytes for hosts that support 5 level paging (166x previous) ; 256 Terabytes for hosts that support 4 level paging (10x previous)