Microsoft has moved rapidly to squash a rumour that the company is planning to rename Windows Server to Microsoft Server Operating System.
The rumour arose from a change, noticed by Tero Alhonen, made to the setup experience on Microsoft Server build 20334, where the name Windows Server was replaced with Microsoft Server Operating System.
Windows Server Build 20334
Windows Server Build 20329
The branding was also spotted in other locations.
Artem Pronichkin, a senior program manager at Microsoft working in Windows Server, however, provided clarification.
Azure Edition is still Windows Server. The branding change in Setup was to accommodate for Azure Stack HCI. Until we figure out a more elegant way to separate that code. Nothing to see here, move along.
— Artem Pronichkin (@pronichkin) April 14, 2021
He said the changes were made to accommodate Azure Stack HCI, which Microsoft describes as an “operating system delivered as an Azure service that provides the latest security, performance and feature updates“, so the same setup procedure applied for either.
Despite this being a red herring, it does seem likely that, at some point in the future, Microsoft will diverge their server and desktop operating systems enough that the same name will not apply to both. That day is just not today.