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Microsoft’s support for Windows Server 2003 ends today. This is business as usual: Microsoft provides at least 10 years of support for its operating systems, split into two distinct types. Mainstream Support ended on July 13, 2010, and now Extended Support is ending on July 14, 2015.

Windows Server 2003, the successor to Windows 2000 Server, hit RTM status on April 24, 2003. Let’s put that into perspective: Microsoft supported the ancient server OS for more than 12 years. That includes two service packs (in March 2005 and March 2007), plus an R2 release in December 2005.

Mainstream Support includes free incident support, warranty claims, fixes for non-security as well as security bugs, plus design changes and feature requests. Extended Support consists solely of security updates.

In other words, you better not be using Windows Server 2003 anymore. In fact, you have multiple successors to choose from: Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, and Windows Server 2012 R2.

Microsoft naturally recommends moving to Windows Server 2012 R2. Oh, and Windows Server 2016 is on its way too, but if you want to avoid security issues, don’t wait. You should get off Windows Server 2003 yesterday.

In case you’re still wondering whether this news affects your version of Windows Server 2003, let us spell it out for you: Yes, yes it does. As the Microsoft Support Lifecycle pages state, that means all of them:

  • Windows Server 2003
  • Windows Server 2003 for Itanium-based Systems
  • Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition
  • Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition (32-bit x86)
  • Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition for Itanium-Based Systems
  • Windows Server 2003 Datacenter x64 Edition
  • Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition (32-bit x86)
  • Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition for Itanium-based Systems
  • Windows Server 2003 Enterprise x64 Edition
  • Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition (32-bit x86)
  • Windows Server 2003 Standard x64 Edition
  • Windows Server 2003 Web Edition
  • Windows Server 2003 R2 Datacenter Edition (32-Bit x86)
  • Windows Server 2003 R2 Datacenter x64 Edition
  • Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise Edition (32-Bit x86)
  • Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise x64 Edition
  • Windows Server 2003 R2 Standard Edition (32-bit x86)
  • Windows Server 2003 R2 Standard x64 Edition

If it says Windows Server 2003, get rid of it.

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