Windows Server 2019 Essentials – end of an era!

2018    Posted Posted by Mike     Comments Comments off     Modified Last updated: October 31, 2023

On September 5, 2018 the Microsoft Windows Server Team announced via the Windows Server Blog that they are killing off Windows Server Essentials as it currently exists today:

Windows Server 2019 Essentials update

While Microsoft will still be releasing an “Essentials” SKU for Windows Server 2019, it will be completely devoid of everything that we recognize as being part of Windows Server Essentials in its current form. Small Business Server MVP Robert Pearman summarizes the upcoming release of Windows Server 2019 Essentials as follows:

With the release of Server 2019 Essentials, the end of an era has been reached. Gone are the wizards and tools designed for the small business owner.

Gone is the Remote Web Access feature.

Gone is the Essentials Connector.

Gone is Client PC Backup.

Gone is Office 365 Integration.

Gone, is the Dashboard.

Gone, indeed, is the Essentials Role.

All that remains of Essentials, is the name Essentials and the licensing limits of the Essentials SKU, of 25 client access licenses.

What we are presented with, is now more in line with Windows foundation server from several years ago.

Basically, Microsoft is releasing their first (and last) non-essentials Windows Server Essentials release that is completely gutted of anything even remotely resembling Windows Server Essentials as we currently know it. And obviously, without the underlying “Essentials” bits, there can be no more new WSE RemoteApp or WSE WorkFolders product releases going forward.

It’s been a fun run, but we have indeed now come to the end of an era for Windows Server Essentials.

My suggestion to those who want to continue running an on-premises Essentials server would be to grab up as many Windows Server 2016 (Standard, Datacenter, or Essentials) licenses as you possibly can (before they’re all gone), and then ride it out with that particular version for as long as Microsoft will be providing support for it (see: Windows Server 2016 Essentials servicing timeline).

Le Roi Est Mort, Vive Le Roi!


UPDATE #1: It’s quite obvious that Microsoft wants small businesses to dump Windows Server Essentials and move to the(ir) cloud, but personally, I don’t want my business (nor personal) data on anyone’s cloud. See:
US-CERT – Common Risks of Using Business Apps in the Cloud

UPDATE #2: Fear not, as all may not be lost after all… See:
Installing Windows Server Essentials Experience On Windows server 2019 / 2022 / 2025

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