Microsoft introduces flighting for Windows Server insiders

Windows Server

Microsoft has launched flighting for Windows Server systems enrolled in its Windows Insider open software testing program.

Starting today, admins will also have the option to have new Insider builds installed automatically after checking for updates via Windows Update instead of manually deploying them via clean installation or in-place upgrades.

“If you have a recent Windows Server insider build installed, you can now go to Windows Update in Settings app, and check for updates. This will bring you a newer build, as a Feature update (also known as ‘in place OS upgrade’),” said Microsoft software engineer Artem Pronichkin.

“From now on, we plan to publish each new build to Windows Update (aka “flighting”) at the same time we publish the familiar ISO to our Windows Server insider community. It’s your choice to upgrade using Setup as before, or to use Windows Update for the same.”

Pronichkin said that the option to install Windows Server Insider builds manually will still be available for admins who don’t mind downloading and deploying them by hand.

However, that will likely lose its appeal given that the new automated Windows Update process tested by many Windows 10 and Windows 11 insiders in recent years saves much time compared to the old method.

Windows Server Insider flighting
Windows Server Insider lighting (Microsoft)

Redmond plans to keep releasing new builds for Windows Server insiders at a frequency of roughly two weeks, though occasional delays or skipped weeks may occur for various reasons.

Administrators will retain control over the deployment of Insider builds, with updates installed only after a manual check through Windows Update (unless automatic updates are toggled on).

The “Flighting” feature is exclusive to Windows Server preview releases, requiring administrators to manually install preview updates on Windows Server 2022 or Windows Server 2019 production systems.

Additionally, operating system upgrades via Windows Update are exclusively accessible through the Settings app for Windows Server with Desktop Experience.

Microsoft also aims to expand the Windows Server Insider flighting functionality over time by adding additional Insider channels, just like those available for Windows 11 flighting.

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