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Taking a Look at Microsoft’s Support Roadmap

Are You Prepared for Your Products’ End of Support?

As that old sage Yogi Berra once said, “It’s like deja vu all over again.” Last year around this time everyone was gearing up for End of Life for Windows XP, a popular OS to say the least. Now it’s 2015 and time to bid adieu to another popular operating system. Windows Server 2003 and 2003 R2, still widely used, will be coming off Extended Support on July 14 of this year. Time to start thinking about retiring those older servers. You might also be interested to know that Mainstream Support for Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Server 2008 R2 expired on January 13, 2015.

Microsoft Software Support RoadmapNote: the “Extended Support Phase” (the conclusion of which is often referred to as “end of life”) includes the following: Fee-based Support (now $499 per incident), Security Updates, and Hotfixes. So the basic difference between Mainstream and Extended Support is that with Extended Support you only receive Security-related updates—no Service Packs or non-security updates. Mainstream Support covers the 5-year period after a product is released; Extended Support typically covers the 5 years after the expiration of Mainstream Support. Also note that in either support phase, Microsoft will only provide support for the most recent Service Pack. So with all of this in mind, let’s look at some upcoming support end dates:

End of Life

  • SQL 2005—Extended Support ends on April 12, 2016
  • Exchange Server 2007—Extended Support ends on August 11, 2017
  • SharePoint Server 2007—Extended Support ends on April 11, 2017
  • Office 2007, Visio 2007, Project 2007—Extended Support ends on October 10, 2017
  • Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2—Extended Support ends on January 14, 2020

End of Mainstream Support

  • Windows 7 (yes, THAT Windows 7)—Mainstream Support ended on January 13, 2015
  • Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2—Mainstream Support ended on January 13, 2015
  • Exchange Server 2010—Mainstream Support ended on January 13, 2015
  • Office 2010—Mainstream Support ends on October 13, 2015
  • SharePoint 2010—Mainstream Support Ends on October 13, 2015
  • Lync Server 2010—Mainstream Support ends on April 12, 2016

Make sure you are keeping these dates in mind as you plan your next deployments. The end of a support phase should not be your only criteria for making the decision to upgrade, but it should play a role in your decision-making process: you need to assess your risk tolerance, particularly if you are running an older version that will no longer be receiving security patches. Of course there are plenty of other factors to consider when evaluating your deployment roadmap. If you would like any more information on GA dates, Support end dates, release dates, or anything else pertaining to Microsoft’s projected release schedule, please do not hesitate to contact a specialist here at PC Connection.

With the end of support date for Windows Server 2003 fast approaching, there's never been a better time to plan your data center transformation. Our experts have designed this helpful tool to get you started on the right upgrade path for your unique environment, applications, and workloads.

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