Which 12 year old operating system which is still running on 11 million servers is about to die? Yep, that's the one: Microsoft Windows Server 2003 reaches 'end of life' status on July 14th.

One of the longest running discussions on DaniWeb asks the question Why does Windows XP refuse to die? and I have my suspicions that we may be asking the same of Windows Server 2003 in the years to come. Which is fine as far as it goes, unfortunately that's not very far in terms of security as there will be no more security patches, updates or assisted technical support. One industry expert has described this as being the "biggest security threat of 2015" and published a white paper on the subject with the very apt title of 'Server 2003 is dead. What are you going to do?'

Ade Foxall, CEO of Camwood and co-author of the report, suggests that discussion of Server 2003 end of life has been woefully limited even within the IT professional community, certainly when compared to the kind of coverage that XP got when it was approaching the same terminal stop. In an analysis of more than 5000 IT publications, Foxall discovered that Server 2003 end of life only got 5% of the news coverage that the end of Windows XP stirred up. “After the recent migration away from Windows XP, IT departments should be more aware than ever of the dangers of using an out-of-date platform" Foxall says "and yet, the lack of awareness surrounding Server 2003 is about to pose an unprecedented security threat to businesses all over the world."

So are you one of the 11 million and will you still be on July 15th? Let the discussion commence...

As Editorial Director and Managing Analyst with IT Security Thing I am putting more than two decades of consulting experience into providing opinionated insight regarding the security threat landscape for IT security professionals. As an Editorial Fellow with Dennis Publishing, I bring more than two decades of writing experience across the technology industry into publications such as Alphr, IT Pro and (in good old fashioned print) PC Pro. I also write for SC Magazine UK and Infosecurity, as well as The Times and Sunday Times newspapers. Along the way I have been honoured with a Technology Journalist of the Year award, and three Information Security Journalist of the Year awards. Most humbling, though, was the Enigma Award for 'lifetime contribution to IT security journalism' bestowed on me in 2011.

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Last Post by Slavi

Know that EOL (End Of Life) on MS products is part of the Microsoft Income Protection Act... For companies wedded to MS products, switching to Linux is difficult and often not an option, so open up those checkbooks, or risk becoming the next source of malware for all of your customers.


So are you one of the 11 million and will you still be on July 15th?

In my experience working with a number of companies as customers, Server 2003 has almost entirely been replaced with Server 2008 R2. I can only think of two customers that still have an active 2003 server, and both of them are either in the process of decomissioning it or have a roadmap for doing so within the quarter.

XP as a desktop system is run across the board of use cases, so you need to take into account everyone from business users to granny's sewing room machine, which makes end of life more of an issue. For the server operating systems, typically only knowledgeable folks run it, it's in a relatively high profile position on the network, and will have a reasonable maintenance/upgrade schedule.

So my personal opinion is that this end of life isn't as big of a deal as XP's end of life because lack of publication doesn't correspond to lack of awareness.


You are right happygeek although thats not entirely correct mainstream support ended almost 2 years ago but extended support will go to April 11 2017 so updates will continue for 2 years.

Windows 8 supports will die in 2020 and 7 will die in 2023

Edited by XP78USER

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