“We’re finding that interest in containers is very high,” said Mike Schutz, responsible for cloud platform product marketing at Microsoft. According to Schutz, 20% of Azure users deploy Linux and a significant proportion of them use Docker containers. Microsoft’s container will use a similar approach as Dockers.

Microsoft Container Technology

Microsoft Windows Server Container

The Windows Server Container is perfect for packaging an application, enabling its easy transfer across different servers. The fact that all the containers running on a single server use the same operating system kernel borrows from Docker’s approach, and makes the containers more responsive than usual virtual machines.

Windows Server Container will use the Windows Server operating system, as you might expect. As a result, organizations will be able to package applications specifically made for Windows Server into certain containers. One example is Microsoft’s .Net framework.

Alongside the Windows Server Containers, a container for applications which require particularly high levels of security will also be released, based on Microsoft’s Hyper-V virtual machine. The Hyper-V Container “helps ensure that the code running remains isolated and can’t impact the host that it is running on, or the other containers running along besides it.”

One criticism of Docker is due to its lack of security, which inspired both Ubuntu and CoreOS to develop secure container technologies.

Integration with Docker containers

The next release of Windows Server in 2016 will bring the new technologies to market. They will be able to run alongside Docker containers in the same environment, thanks to the fact that they can be controlled through the Docker engine.

Docker has been downloaded over 100 million times since its release in 2013, proving popular with developers and organizations. Microsoft was ahead of the curve in supporting Docker with its Azure cloud service, a move which competitors Amazon, Google, IBM and HP made later.

For a more in-depth look at the new Microsoft container technologies, keep a close eye on the company’s Build developer conference in San Francisco later this month.