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Beta Offer Signals Windows Server 2016 Is Nigh

Looking for a sign that the official release of Windows Server 2016 is almost here? An upgrade exam for individuals with MCSA: Windows Server 2008 or 2012 R2 certification is now available!

Beta testing bulletinAce psychometrician Liberty Munson of Microsoft Learning, the person at the leading edge of Microsoft exam development made a post to the Born to Learn blog last week to announce that exam 70-743 is now open for registration with 350 free seats to fill.


And while those seats may already be taken (check the beta registration FAQ for details on how to sign up) the mere fact of this announcement has something important to tell us. If a beta exam is open for registration (which must be completed on or before August 19, with the exam taken before August 26), then the release of Windows Server 2016 must be imminent.


In fact, I just saw a few days ago that Microsoft had slipped the release date of the Exam Ref book for exam 70-698 “Installing and Configuring Windows 10” from Microsoft Press to that same date (Microsoft Press still says June 23, but Pearson says August 26).


This gets me thinking back to the rumors that circulated as early as late 2015 that the Windows 10 Anniversary Update (we called it Redstone back then) and Windows Server 2016 might be released at the same time. Is the closing date for the beta and the release date for the book purely a coincidence?


Probably. It makes me chuckle to think, however — now that we know that Windows 10 Version 1607 will actually arrive on Aug. 2 — that Windows Server 2016 could possibly release in August as well.