Windows 2016 Version History

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Windows 10 Creators Update, (or Windows 10 Version 1703, codenamed 'Redstone 2', build 10.0.15063), is the third major update to Windows 10 and the second of the 4 major updates planned under the Redstone codenames. The first preview was released to Insiders on August 11, 2016. I just want to make sure that this is clear for everyone. There is no such thing as Windows Server 2016 1803. There is only one RTM release of Server 2016, and that was 1607. Also, Windows Server 2019 is not aka Server 2016 v1809. There is Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2019 and then there is Windows Server 1803,1809,etc. Microsoft Windows Server 2016 is an operating system built by Microsoft and is the successor of Windows Server 2012. It is the server-edition of Windows 10 and is available since September 2016. This article shows the differences between the individual Windows Server 2016 editions. Windows Neptune (December 27, 1999) – the first planned version of Microsoft Windows NT to have a consumer edition variant, based on the Windows 2000 codebase. A version was sent out to testers but was never released. That left us with Microsoft Windows 2000, Windows Server 2003, 2008 (which also had an R2 version), 2012 (also with an R2), 2016, and 2019, etc. Each new version of Microsoft Windows Server introduces new functionality. For example, Hyper-V virtualization, Server Core, and BitLocker were introduced in Windows Server 2008, and Windows Containers.

Windows 2016 Version History

Microsoft Windows Server 2016 is an operating system built by Microsoft and is the successor of Windows Server 2012. It is the server-edition of Windows 10 and is available since September 2016.

This article shows the differences between the individual Windows Server 2016 editions.

Windows Server 2016 pricing information about can be found at the Thomas-Krenn web shop in the area Microsoft software.


Microsoft is now using a core licensing model for Windows Server 2016 (as it is done also for the SQL server).


Windows Server 2016 is available in 3 editions (a Foundation edition as it was in Windows Server 2012 is no longer offered by Microsoft for Windows Server 2016):[1]

  • Essentials
  • Standard
  • Datacenter

The editions are suitable for the following application areas:

Windows Server 2016 Version Number

EditionIdeal for...Virtualization rightsLicensing modelClient Access LicensesRAM LimitCPU LimitPricing
EssentialsSmall businesses with basic IT requirements; very small or no IT departmentno, one physical or one virtual installationCPU-basedCALs not required * (limited to 25 users / 50 devices)64 GB RAMmax. 2 CPUs
StandardFor all companies that require advanced features and virtualize to a lesser extent2 virtual machines **or 2 Hyper-V ContainerCore-basedCALs required ***24 TB RAM512 Cores
DatacenterFor all companies with high requirements on IT workloads with large number of virtual systemsunlimited virtual machines and Hyper-V Container
(*) An RDS CAL is required to access Remotedesktop.
(**) The Windows Server Standard Edition license allows 2 OSEs (Operating System Environments) when all physical cores are licensed.
(***) CALs are required for every user or device, which connects directly or indirectly to a server. Details can be found on the Microsoft website in the area Client Access Licenses and Management Licenses.[2]

Minimal System Requirements for Windows Server 2016

The following table shows the minimum requirements for Windows Server 2016.[3] The actual requirements depend on the system configuration and the installed applications and features.

Windows Server 2016 Update History Powershell

DescriptionMinimal System Requirements
CPU architecturex64
CPU clock rate1.4 GHz
RAM512 MB* with (ECC (Error Correcting Code) type or similar technology)
Disk space32 GB**
Network adapter1x Ethernet (at least gigabit throughput)
(*) 2 GB for Server with Desktop Experience installation option.
(**) Computers with more than 16 GB of RAM will require more disk space for paging, hibernation, and dump files.

Edition comparison by physical / virtual instances

Windows Server 2016 instances can be operated in either a physical operating system environment (POSE) or a virtual operating system environment (VOSE):

EditionRunning instances in POSERunning instances in VOSE

Windows 2016 Update History Empty

(*) When a customer runs all the allowed virtual instances, the physical instance can only be used to manage and maintain the virtual instances.
(**) Essentials can be run in a physical or virtual operating system environment.

Edition comparison by server roles

The Windows Server 2016 editions differ in the following server roles:

AD Certificate Services✔ automatically installed/configured (1)
AD Domain Services✔ automatically installed/configured (2)
AD Federation Services
AD Lightweight Directory Services
AD Rights Management Services (3)
Application Server
DHCP Server
DNS Server✔ automatically installed/configured
Fax Server
File Services✔ automatically installed/configured (4)
Network Policy & Access Services✔ automatically installed/configured
Print & Document Services
Remote Access✔ automatically installed/configured (5)
Remote Desktop Services (6)- (7)
UDDI Services
Web Server (IIS)✔ automatically installed/configured
Windows Deployment Services
Windows Server Update Services-
(1) Limited to the setting up of certification authorities - other features of the Active Directory Certificate Services (Network Device Enrollment Services, Online Responder Service)) are not available. More information can be found in the description of the AD CS role on TechNet.[4]
(2) Must be the root of an ADDS domain structure and must own all operating master roles.
(3) Access requires an additional AD RMS CAL.
(4) Data deduplication is not available.
(5) Limited to 50 RRAS connections and 50 IAS connections; DirectAccess and VPN are supported.
(6) Access requires an additional RDS CAL (exception: using the Remote Web Access feature of the Essentials Edition).
(7) Only RD Gateway service is installed and configured, other remote services (including RD session host) are not supported.

Edition comparison by new features

The Windows Server 2016 editions differ in the following features:[5]

Core functionality of Windows Server-
OSEs / Hyper-V containers-✔ 2✔ unlimited
Windows Server containers-✔ unlimited✔ unlimited
Host Guardian Service-
Nano Server-**
Storage features including Storage Spaces Direct and Storage Replica--
Shielded Virtual Machines--
Networking stack--
* Software Assurance is required to deploy and operate Nano Server in production.


  1. Windows Server 2016 - Licensing Datasheet (
  2. Client Access Licenses and Management Licenses (
  3. Windows Server 2016 - System Requirements (
  4. Active Directory Certificate Services (
  5. Windows Server 2016 - Feature-Unterschiede (

Further Information

  • Windows Server 2016 (
  • Windows Server 2016 Pricing Information (
Retrieved from ''
Name / DescriptionVersionBuild NumberPublic ReleaseRTM Release
Windows NT 3.13.105111993-07-27
Windows NT 3.53.508071994-09-21
Windows NT 3.1, Service Pack 33.105281994-11
Windows NT 3.513.5110571995-05-30
Windows 954.009501995-08-24
Windows 95 OEM Service Release 14.00950 A1996-02-14
Windows 95 OEM Service Release 24.00950 B1996-08-24
Windows NT 4.04.013811996-08-241996-07-31
Windows 95 OEM Service Release 2.14.00950 B1997-08-27
Windows 95 OEM Service Release 2.54.00950 C1997-11-26
Windows 984.1019981998-05-15
Windows 98 Second Edition (SE)4.1022221999-05-05
Windows 20005.021952000-02-171999-12-15
Windows Me4.9030002000-09-142000-06-19
Windows XP5.126002001-10-252001-08-24
Windows XP, Service Pack 15.12600.1105-11062002-09-09
Windows Server 20035.237902003-04-24
Windows XP, Service Pack 25.12600.21802004-08-25
Windows Server 2003, Service Pack 15.23790.11802005-03-30
Windows Server 2003 R25.237902005-12-062005-12-06
Windows Vista6.060002007-01-302006-11-08
Windows Server 2003, Service Pack 25.237902007-03-13
Windows Home Server5.245002007-11-042007-07-16
Windows Vista, Service Pack 16.060012008-02-04
Windows Server 20086.060012008-02-272008-02-04
Windows XP, Service Pack 35.126002008-04-21
Windows Vista, Service Pack 26.060022009-05-262009-04-28
Windows Server 2008, Service Pack 26.060022009-05-26
Windows 76.176002009-10-222009-07-22
Windows Server 2008 R26.176002009-10-222009-07-22
Windows 7, Service Pack 16.176012011-02-22
Windows Server 2008 R2, Service Pack 16.176012011-02-222011-02-09
Windows Home Server 20116.184002011-04-062011-04-06
Windows Server 20126.292002012-09-042012-08-01
Windows 86.292002012-10-262012-08-01
Windows 8.16.396002013-08-272013-10-17
Windows Server 2012 R26.396002013-10-182013-08-27
Windows 10, Version 150710.0102402015-07-292015-07-15
Windows 10, Version 151110.0105862015-11-10
Windows 10, Version 160710.0143932016-08-02
Windows Server 2016, Version 160710.0143932016-08-02
Windows 10, Version 170310.0150632017-04-05
Windows 10, Version 170910.0162992017-10-17
Windows Server 2016, Version 170910.0162992017-10-17
Windows 10, Version 180310.0171342018-04-30
Windows Server 2019, Version 180910.0177632018-10-02
Windows 10, Version 180910.0177632018-11-13
Windows Server 2008, Service Pack 2, Rollup KB44898876.060032019-03-19
Windows 10, Version 190310.0183622019-05-21
Windows 10, Version 190910.0183632019-11-12
Windows 10, Version 200410.0190412020-05-27
Windows 10, Version 20H210.0190422020-10-20
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