End of support for Windows 2003 (NT 5.2) this summer has been well publicized. However some might be surprised about dropping support for Windows 2008 (NT 6.0) in advance of Microsoft official lifecycle policy.
Many factors are involved in decisions affecting technology adoption. From a security development lifecycle perspective, the software reliability and defensive advantages provided by newer compilers and derivative operating systems are very compelling – “a must have”.
The PI Server also drops support for Server Core on Windows Server 2008 R2 (NT 6.1) in favor of Server Core on Windows Server 2012 R2 (NT 6.3) as the most secure by default operating system for the PI Server.
For the uninitiated, Windows Server Core is most often deployed as HyperV Server (Server Core + HyperV role). As of Windows 2012, you can remove the GUI components to convert a standard server to core.
Coincidently, while on the topic of Server Core, Microsoft’s Nano Server stats are like Server Core on steroids: 93% lower VHD size; 92% fewer critical bulletins; 80% fewer reboots (I'm guessing these are as compared to a Standard Windows Server).
This pace of innovation is exciting. A ‘born-in-the-cloud’ Nano Server application could have many reliability and security advantages.