Windows Server 2012 support lifecycle extended

by Bharat Suneja

Microsoft has extended product support lifecycle for Windows Server 2012 to align with the standard product lifecycle support timeline. Mainstream Support for Windows Server 2012 now ends on Oct. 9th, 2018. The new end of Extended Support date is Oct. 10th, 2023. Both can be found here.

Microsoft Product Lifecycle

Microsoft product lifecycle dictates how long a product is supported after its release. The general rule of thumb is:

  • Mainstream Support: For five years from a product’s release. During Mainstream Support, Microsoft provides regular product updates, including non-security bug fixes.
  • Extended Support: For five years from end of Mainstream Support. During this period, Microsoft provides only security updates. Additionally, customers with Premier support contracts can enroll in Extended Hotfix Support (EHS), allowing them to request non-security fixes during Extended Support.

For more information about Microsoft Product Lifecycle, head over to aka.ms/lifecycle. You can also search product lifecycle dates at aka.ms/lifecyclesearch.

One of the more frequently asked lifecycle questions is:
What happens if my organization continues to use products beyond the end of Extended Support?
Of course, the product continues to work. You avoid the costs of upgrading to a newer version. But it does come with significant risks. As noted in General Lifecycle Policy Questions:

Once a product transitions out of support, no further support will be provided for the product. This means that customers will NOT have access to:

  • Security updates or non-security hotfixes
  • Free or paid assisted support options
  • Microsoft product development resources
  • Updates to online content (Knowledge Base articles, etc.)

Needless to say, there’s an additional cost of running products past their end of lifecycle – your organization doesn’t benefit from the new features and product innovations, which bring more productivity gains and in many cases, more security.

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