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Server Insider: lack of attention / releases

Brass Contributor

I really feel that the Server side of Windows Insider isn't getting enough attention

 

- They stopped making blog posts for many releases (or any form of heads up that a new build got uploaded at the DL page)

 

- New builds can take between 1-3 months to arrive, over the past 2 years there were even exceptions of like 5-6 months, while the regular Windows insider builds structure is followed. Even the build numbers are followed. They also don't care if one or multiple patch tuesdays are missed for Insider Server (due to lack of a new build, just like regular Windows Insider receives)

 

Every thursday, im looking at any source that tells me a new build may be available, but 9 out of 10 times i get disappointed. Yesterday and today as well, the last build available is 25379 from 3 weeks ago, which happens to be an undocumented one without blog post.

 

Any way that Microsoft will consider taking the insider program for Server more seriously? It was possible in the past, so it must be pretty doable to merge/backport regular insider changes to this branch. Are there less employees, or what? Why is the care lowered?

15 Replies
I tend to agree. However, summer is in full swing and people are on holiday.

@sjkpublic 

 

But it's been like this for pretty long, my idea of it is that the Server insider program has been neglected for at least a year. Maybe summer of 2022 (1 year ago) was the last period there have been consistent builds, is it possible that the team in charge back then had @Mary Hoffman in it, and that the entire team got replaced by one that takes it less seriously, or pays less attention? Or maybe the team has been cut out and as it's now on the plate of another team that has a lot of things to do, like the main insider program? It's all speculation until someone tells us what's up, but either way its indicative of that Microsoft no longer really cares about the Server side of insider program, so no priority or adequate staffing is provided.

 

very unfortunately I can second that. And there seems there are hard contrasts within the story. 

 

Went the extra mile today and brought all own feedback and issues - that are not apparently triaged / replied or solved over from here to feedback hub. 

 

Feedback hub - even if recommended at every Insider release, is effectively barely used. 

When I looked into English and german submissions (they are not visible forever anymore) 80-90% was no quality feedback (as per definition) that I believe the WS PG could really work on, not mention spam. 

 

 

It would be great to have the feedback hub appx on Windows Server. This would ease things, especially issue reports and logs for them. Asked for further instruction how they could collaborate with it best: https://aka.ms/AAohsx0 

 

 

Let's hope, that the teams weren'taffected too much of the 2023 layoffs. 

Yet what you both describe feels similar for Windows Client OS. The very developer / sprint minded staging of changes makes it near impossible to stay tuned. Much simpler in Windows Server while often we get no change logs at all. 

 
Contrary if we follow the Grande announcements of @Jeff Woolsey and @Elden Christensen,
recordings available here, then together with some spotlights here and there it migtht be hard to grasp the efforts and consistency on this super complex topic.

 

All we can hope is that the next 9-11 months of time serve good enough that all feedback will be incorporated as much as possible or later via CUs, so we won't lose too much in terms of UX in the vNext, as it is a huge leap forward. I am not looking for a "Windows Server 2025 R2", rather want to have a great "Windows 11" based build from the start, and with all feedback raised, I believe it is very possible in the remaining time. Some changes are really minimal but bring huge UX improvement over previous versions, and honestly UX is still something users are looking for.  

 

I beg to differ that most users are not big corporations and have few admins in a team that are still not into PowerShell after a decade of warm-up and they rely heavily on the readiness and capability of UX in Windows Server, Windows Admin Center. Especially when you help them to adopt a remote management of "Window Server Core first" without security risky RDP hopping, and moreover getting them off their old stuff, which finally (2016 or newer) allows all remote management capabilities out of the box. 

 

Hope this all is considered, when thinking about admins. Some just became Windows Server Admin "by fortune" or "accident" - greetings to the lasting slogan of Carl Stalhood - now retired. 

 

2025 is an important year for Windows Server. Hope this cheered you @dhessel  @sjkpublic up a bit with your initiatives for vNext . It takes a long time sometimes to gather the fruits, even when they appear as long hanging ones, it remains hard for us to understand complications behind the scenes. 

Communication and transparency helps if they have the time. 

Microsoft Verified Best Answer

We release builds to Windows Server Insiders every 2-weeks.  Sometimes things happen, like around the holidays where there might be some delays... but overall that's the plan, every 2 weeks.  

 

And it is our plan to add Feedback Hub to vNext, should hopefully be showing up in the Insiders builds soon  :smile:

 

Should be another Insiders build coming this week  

 

Thanks!
Elden

Very cool Elden, much appreciated!

It's worth mentioning that i made this topic during a period where the insider program for Windows Server was totally, and literally, abandoned.. where it wasn't unusual to see no builds for months at a time, or 6+ months. This is no longer currently the situation, as late 2023 has seen regular updates (weekly or bi-weekly, as @Elden Christensen has indicates is how its supposed to be. Therefore, my hard criticism from the OP is no longer actual, however, given that Microsoft is a big, bureaucratic company where a lot of processes happen all the time, we have no guarantee that the insider program for Windows Server doesn't get fully abandoned again in the future. I reiterate it's not currently so, but i hope it doesn't happen. If it happens, we can bring this topic back to life and try to get a MS engineer's attention. I'd say let it rest until we face that day.

 

Like i said, late 2023 is when the program came back to life. I'd like to think that this topic helped to get someone to notice that it had to return to being actively maintained by an active, caring team. And that so, it happened.

Thank you clarification and great to see you are seeing improvements.


If you like, mark the answer of Elden as best response so people that stumble across this posting are updated.
I marked myself as a verified best answer of myself! :rolling_on_the_floor_laughing:

one last thing i want to get off my mind @Elden Christensen is: please make a new build after Patch Tuesday more guaranteed, i mean we have a better chance of seeing regular Windows 11 Insider (Dev and Canary channel) builds on the Thursday or Friday after Patch Tuesday, which is second tuesday of the month, than we have for Server insider builds.

There is no server insider build since December, even though i hoped for one yesterday or thursday. This opens up Server Insider preview administrators to security vulnerabilities that were addressed as part of the patch tuesday in any relevant week where a Server build is missed (in this case: this week), as the release schedule isn't as tight as for Windows 11 Insider Preview releases. If there is one area you always want all CVE patches and to be as secure as possible, it's in the server space, where a lot of cyberattacks take place every day worldwide, especially against enterprise users. Let this not be a con for testing out server features, i hope you can work on putting extra attention to deliver a build at the Thursday/Friday after a Patch Tuesday, it's only once a month, surely you can make that happen, right? And, if you dont want me & some others to suffer from security bugs until Friday next week (even then it's not certain a build will arrive.. as usual) then maybe upload the missed one now with a delay. I am using the December build and ain't feeling very safe using it, im grinding my teeth until finally we get another build.

@dhessel sorry the build from last week had some delays, it will drop early this week.   It’s got some cool stuff coming, stay tuned!!!

Hello @Elden Christensen .. thursday is gone, but i dont see a build yet (Win11 insider received it nearly 24 hours ago). I hope it's not going to skip again?

OK, by now it's saturday, and there is no build.. i dont think that it was true; there won't be a build, right? Again.. why not? This is making server operators insecure.

 

Things like this, repeatedly, is why operators may start leaving the Server Insider program, unfortunately. I don't think that is Microsoft's desire?
@Elden Christensen

@dhessel understand your disappointment.

Can you confirm there has been no LCU 01-2024 update for the lastest insider build?

Thanks for double check in Windows Update history in settings app or get-hotfix | sort installedon

 

Would you be interested to share more about your Windows Insider use in my other thread? 

We have unfortunately run into one issue after another which has delayed getting a new build out :( Sorry for the delays, we are working on it... should be very soon
best response confirmed by Karl-WE (MVP)
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