The upcoming Windows Server 2019 Essentials may well be the last edition of the server OS for small businesses, the Windows Server team announced yesterday. This new version will succeed to Windows Server 2016 Essentials later this year, but Microsoft warned IT admins that there is a "strong possibility that this could be the last edition of Windows Server Essentials.”
The Windows Server team explained that it has been seeing more and more small businesses embrace cloud services in recent years. However, Microsoft also acknowledges that “on-premises servers are still valuable and desired in the short term for reasons such as price and ability to run traditional applications that may not yet have corresponding cloud-based functionality.“
Compared to its predecessor, Windows Server 2019 Essentials will bring support for new hardware and features like Storage Migration Services, System Insights and more. However, companies with more than 25 users may consider switching to Windows Server 2019 Standard, which will provide even more deployment options.
There’s still no official release date for Windows Server 2019 Essentials and other editions of the server OS, though it's worth nothing that Windows Server 2016 Essentials will still be supported through November 2027. That should leave IT admins enough time to decide between keeping on-premises servers or moving to a complete cloud solution like Microsoft 365.