Windows Server 2003 End of Life Won't Get Antimalware Reprieve

Windows Server 2003 End of Life Won't Get Antimalware Reprieve

You should know by now that Windows Server 2003 reaches end of life on July 15, 2015. Microsoft, Microsoft partners, and authors around the web have been harping on this for the last couple years, with even increased persistence over the last year.

When Windows Server 2003 succumbs to its end, there will be no new updates available – ever – and that includes security updates, non-security, free or paid assisted support options, or online technical content updates from Microsoft. Clearly there's been plenty of time to understand the situation and adequate fair warning to migrating to a newer Windows server operating system.

If you think back to when Windows XP reached end of life last year, on April 8, 2014, Microsoft had to roll out one last update due to a critical flaw in all Windows versions. But, that was absolutely the last time Windows XP received an update. Some still use the old operating system even today, but every day new vulnerabilities are reported that causes an even greater risk to continue using it. Some 3rd party vendors promised to continue support Windows XP for a length of time, particularly vendors supplying antimalware solutions.

But, what solutions exist for Windows Server 2003? None, according to a statement made by Microsoft last week:

On this same date (end of life for Windows 2003), customers using System Center Endpoint Protection or Forefront Endpoint Protection on Windows Server 2003 will stop receiving updates to antimalware definitions and the engine for Windows Server 2003.

So, here's one more reason to accelerate your migrations.

As I noted in Missing in Action: Windows 10 Server, your likely best migration is to Windows Server 2012 R2. Microsoft continues to work on Windows 10 Server, but doing so quietly and with less fanfare than the Windows 10 client. We know a lot about Windows 10 Server already, but it will not be a viable platform until late summer, when Windows 10 is rumored to release, and will definitely not be ready by July 15, 2015 when Windows Server 2003 loses all support.

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