Windows Server End of Life

TL;DR Go straight to the Windows Server End-of-Life Audit

On October 10, 2023, Microsoft will end support for Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2. If needed, you can purchase extended security updates for another 3 years. To ensure better performance, efficiency, and regular updates, you are advised to upgrade any devices still running the 2012 family of products to the most current version of Windows Server.

Windows Server Lifecycle Policy

The main Windows server releases follow Microsoft's fixed lifecycle policy. This means they are supported for 10 years, including 5 years of Mainstream Support, followed by 5 years of Extended Support. Most Windows Server releases also have options to extend support for another 3 or 4 years after that if you purchase the Extended Security Update option.

VersionEnd of Support
Windows Server 2022Oct 14, 2031
Windows Server 2019Jan. 9, 2029
Windows Server 2016Jan. 12, 2027
Windows Server 2012 R2Oct 10, 2023
Windows Server 2012Oct 10, 2023
Windows Server 2008 R2Jan 14, 2020
Windows Server 2008Jan 14, 2020

Windows Server Version Distribution

Lansweeper data gathered from 1.3 million instances of Windows Server across more than 35,000 organizations shows that an overwhelming majority of users is in fact running a supported version. Only 6.72% of Windows Server installations are unsupported. However, the data also shows that 20.94% of installations are of Server 2012. With the upcoming end-of-life of Server 2012 in October, these will all need to be upgraded soon.

While not receiving any new functionalities is a minor inconvenience, the lack of security updates for legacy products can punch dangerous holes in your network security. The longer you keep a product around after its EOL date, the more security issues will pop up and go unpatched. Eventually, any unsupported product in your network becomes an open door for security breaches.

Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2 End of Life

Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2 will be going end of life on the 10th of October, 2023. In order to keep receiving regular updates and keep your environment secure, make sure to upgrade any machines still running Windows Server 2012 or Windows Server 2012 R2 to the latest version. You can find detailed instructions in the Windows Server Upgrades overview.

If needed, it is possible to purchase an additional 3 years of extended security updates for Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2. Please note that the ESU program is considered a last resort for customers who really need to run certain legacy Microsoft products past the end of support. It only includes critical and important security updates. There will be no new features added nor customer-requested non-security updates or design changes.

Windows Server EOL Audit

Our team has put together a Windows Server Audit report. It will give you a full overview of when the Windows Server versions in your IT environment will be going end of life. It shows you when the EOL date is and how many days are remaining so you can plan your migrations in advance.

Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2 End of Life

Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2 originally went end of life on the 14th of January, 2020. Microsoft offered an additional 4 years of Extended Security Updates (ESU). The third (and for non-Azure users last) of these security updates went end of life on the 10th of January, 2023.

In order to keep your environment up to date and secure, Microsoft recommends that you upgrade any machines still running Windows Server 2008 or 2008 R2 to the latest version. You can find detailed instructions in their Windows Server Upgrades overview.

However, there is the option of a 4th ESU for 1 year, for Azure only. This update became available on the 11th of January, 2023, and will be supported until the 9th of January, 2024. The Extended Security Updates are free if you are running 2008 or 2008 R2 in Azure virtual machines. You can find more information in Microsoft's End of Support blog.

Windows Server 20H2 Support Ending

August 9, 2022, marked the end of support of the last of the modern lifecycle policy Windows Server version. These versions offered a much shorter support period since they are more closely aligned with the Windows 10 versioning.

Microsoft is ending support for the last Semi-annual release of Windows Server. These server versions were an attempt to mirror the Windows 10 versioning, with a new release twice per year. These versions received support for 18 months following their release. With the end of life of Version 20H2, there are no more supported versions of these releases.

VersionStart DateEnd Date
Version 20H220-Oct-2009-Aug-22
Version 200427-May-2014-Dec-21
Version 190912-Nov-1911-May-21
Version 190321-May-1908-Dec-20
Version 180902-Oct-1810-Nov-20
Version 180330-Apr-1812-Nov-19
Version 170917-Oct-1709-Apr-19

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