The growing security threats in digital life and constant need for improved features forces companies to have reasonable end of support date for their Windows Server systems. Microsoft made support timelines easy to find and easy to understand. Let’s have a look at them.
Long story short; Microsoft provides 5 years of support for almost all software products including operating systems such as Windows and Windows Server, development and database tools such as Visual Studio and SQL Server, or other enterprise level products like Exchange Server.
In addition to the 5-year support which is called “Mainstream Support”, Microsoft also offers another 5-year support with a smaller scope. The second 5-year period is called “Extended Support”. Therefore, a Windows Server version that was released in 2012 has support until 2022 (Please check the table below for detailed end of support dates).
During the extended support, Microsoft still provides all security updates. However, product design change or new feature addition requests are not accepted during this period.
End of Support Dates for Windows Server versions
End of Mainstream
End of Extended
|Windows Server 2008||5/6/2008||7/12/2011||7/12/2011|
|Windows Server 2008 (SP2)||4/29/2009||1/13/2015||1/14/2020|
|Windows Server 2008 R2||10/22/2009||4/9/2013||4/9/2013|
|Windows Server 2008 R2 (SP1)||2/22/2011||1/13/2015||1/14/2020|
|Windows Server 2012||10/30/2012||10/9/2018||1/10/2023|
|Windows Server 2012 R2||11/25/2013||10/9/2018||10/10/2023|
|Windows Server 2016||10/15/2016||1/11/2022||1/11/2027|
Thanks to Mirazon for this detailed table. For more specific dates and instructions, check Microsoft’s “Product lifecycle” page.
When searching for end of support dates, make sure to distinguish dates for regular server version and R2 version. R2 version of operating systems include all cumulative updates until a certain date so they have a longer support period. For instance, Windows Server 2008 had support until 2011 while Windows Server 2008 R2 has support until 2020.
Looking for IIS Support for Windows Server? Check this post out.
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