Microsoft announces Docker for Windows Server 2016

Microsoft Docker Container Windows 2016

Today, Microsoft is announcing general availability of Windows Server 2016 at the Ignite conference in Atlanta. Docker and Microsoft have partnered to bring the agility, portability, and security benefits of the Docker platform to every edition of Windows Server 2016 in October 2016. Windows Server 2016 Containers, powered by Docker Engine, brings containers to native Windows applications and expands the toolset for traditional Docker Linux developers and IT pros.

For Windows developers and IT-pros, the most exciting new Windows feature is containers, and containers on Windows Server 2016 are powered by Docker.

The first version of Docker was released in 2013, and in the 3 years since launch, Docker has completely transformed how Linux developers and ops build, ship and run apps. With Docker Engine and containers now available natively on Windows, developers and IT-pros can begin the same transformation for Windows-based apps and infrastructure and start reaping the same benefits: better security, more agility, and improved portability and freedom to move on-prem apps to the cloud.

It is this industry leadership that catalyzed our technical collaboration in the Docker open source project back in October 2014, to jointly bring the agility, portability, and security benefits of the Docker platform to Windows Server.  After two years of joint engineering, we are excited to unveil a new, commercial partnership to extend these benefits for both Windows developers targeting Windows Server and enterprise IT professionals.

Specifically, the commercial partnership entails:

  • The Commercially Supported Docker Engine aka “CS Docker Engine”, Docker, Inc.’s tested, validated, and supported package of Docker Engine, will be available to Windows Server 2016 customers at no additional cost
  • Microsoft will provide Windows Server 2016 customers enterprise support for CS Docker Engine, backed by Docker, Inc
  • Docker and Microsoft will jointly promote Docker Datacenter to enable IT Pros to secure the Windows Server software supply chain and manage containerized Windows Server workloads, whether on-prem, in the cloud, or hybrid.

These fruits of this partnership for the first time offer enterprise IT professionals a single platform for both Windows and Linux applications on any infrastructure, whether bare metal, virtualized, or cloud.


CS Docker Engine and Docker Datacenter for Windows Server represent a major addition that complements several other joint initiatives as depicted above.


  • For developers, the integration of Visual Studio Tools for Docker and Docker for Windows provides complete desktop development environments for building Dockerized Windows apps;
  • To jumpstart app development, Microsoft has contributed Windows Server container base images and apps to Docker Hub;
  • For IT pros, Docker Datacenter will be designed to manage Windows Server environments in addition to the Linux environments Datacenter already manages.


Windows Server 2016 will be generally available in October, when Windows Server 2016 customers will be able to download the first version of the CS Docker Engine. Docker Datacenter for managing Windows Server containerized workloads will be available shortly thereafter.  While the announcements today represent another significant milestone in our partnership, Docker and Microsoft are just getting started.