Windows Server GUI on way out
The GUI for Windows Server will eventually be no more. Here’s what Don Jones, over at RedmondMag.com, had to say about this eventuality.
- The full GUI experience on the Windows Server OS is now optional. Software meant to run on a server should not assume a GUI will be there, nor should it take for granted any of the many other dependencies that the full server OS has traditionally included. My analysis on this: It’s Microsoft’s shot across the bow. You’ll see a stronger position on this sometime in the future — maybe a few years off, but sometime. They want server apps to assume they’re running on what we used to call “Server Core.”
- The recommended way to run the Server OS is without the GUI. Didja see that? No, you don’t have to think it’s a good idea — I’m not pushing acceptance. I’m pointing out what’s happening. These are the facts on the ground.
- Microsoft has taken a (what I think is a very good) middle-ground step by introducing a “minimal GUI” mode in the server OS. That means you can have your GUI tools on the Server OS, as well as on your client computer, provided those GUI tools play by a few basic rules and don’t assume too many dependencies (like the presence of IE). They’ll have the full .NET Framework at their disposal, for example, which should help — especially if they’re tools based on the MMC architecture. So this gets you a “lighter” version of the Windows Server OS, but still lets you manage right on the console.My opinion, for what it’s worth: Anyone who thinks “minimal GUI” mode is anything more than a holding measure is crazy. To me, this clearly says Microsoft is trying to get us off the console for good. They know we’re not ready to give it up completely, so this is them trying to wean us off. Maybe I’m wrong on this — it’s happened before — but it sure seems that way when I look at the big picture.
- Notwithstanding the “minimal GUI” mode, Microsoft is recommending to software developers to not assume a GUI will be present. The full, rich GUI experience happens on the client. Not allowed connect to your servers from your client computer? The suggestion appears to be “rethink your architecture.”
In other words make sure you know command line interface and how to remote into a server because before long that will be your only way to access Microsoft Server.
My opinion is that Microsoft is pointed toward a world of “headless servers:” Minimal functionality from the console, rich management from a client computer. This is a step in that direction, and it’s intended to put us, and software vendors, on notice. Me, I’m going to take the hint. I hope y’all do as well. Windows Server “8” is a chance to start getting on board with what Windows will become — it’s not throwing us directly into the fire, but I think we have to take the opportunity to start adapting to this new direction.
- In Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2, the DES encryption types for the Kerberos authentication protocol are disabled by default. (itworldjd.wordpress.com)
- Windows Admins Need To Prepare For GUI-Less Server (tech.slashdot.org)
- CTU 2012 – Windows Server 8 Active Directory Overview (chengandrew.wordpress.com)
- Windows Server 8: Server Applications and the Minimal Server Interface (blogs.technet.com)
Posted on February 15, 2012, in Network Administration, Server, Technology, Technology News, Windows and tagged Command-line interface, Graphical user interface, Microsoft Windows, Servers, Windows Server, Windows Server OS. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Windows Server GUI on way out.