Microsoft is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the completion of Windows NT 4.0. The lineup of server products designed for the masses has evolved in the last two decades, and will continue with the release of Windows Server 2016 later this year.

Windows NT 40

Microsoft has posted up a timeline of the 20 years of desktop-based server products it has released, starting with Windows NT 4.0, which went gold on July 31, 1996, and was officially released in August of that year. The company states:

Windows NT 4.0 Server arrived at a time when big iron systems running on Unix ruled, which required large investments in hardware and extensive expertise. Microsoft software engineer David Cutler built a new kernel that was the foundation of NT. By coupling the intuitive desktop UI for the first time, organizations could quickly set up company-wide file, print, and application servers using commodity hardware.

With the upcoming release of Windows Server 2016, Microsoft says that its server software are moving from datacenters to cloud-based applications.

Microsoft will officially launch Windows Server 2016 at its Ignite Conference in Atlanta on September 26-30.