📗 Date: 10 Nov, 2023
Source: BeepingComputer


Microsoft provides three more years of Windows Server 2012 Extended Security Updates (ESUs) until October 2026, giving administrators more time to upgrade or migrate to Azure.

The company also prolonged the end date for Windows Server 2012 and extended support by five years to provide customers with additional time to transition to supported versions of Windows Server, even though its mainstream support ended in October 2018.

Since it reached its end of support during the October 2023 Patch Tuesday, Redmond stopped providing technical assistance and bug fixes for newly identified issues affecting the stability or usability of systems running this operating system.

“You can now get three additional years of Extended Security Updates (ESUs) if you need more time to upgrade and modernize your Windows Server 2012, Windows Server R2, or Windows Embedded Server 2012 R2 on Azure,” Microsoft said.

“If you’ve already moved to Azure to protect your Windows Server 2012 and R2 workloads, you might be enjoying free Extended Security Updates,” added Microsoft’s Poornima Priyadarshini.

“If your organization is unable to migrate, you can purchase and seamlessly deploy Windows Server 2012 Extended Security Updates enabled by Azure Arc on premises and in hosted environments without keys, directly from the Azure portal.”

Microsoft shared step-by-step instructions on extending limited protection for up to three consecutive 12-month increments and also provided detailed info on ESU online and proxy activation scenarios.

VersionStart DateEnd Date
Extended Security Update Year 3Oct 15, 2025Oct 13, 2026
Extended Security Update Year 2Oct 9, 2024Oct 14, 2025
Extended Security Update Year 1Oct 11, 2023Oct 8, 2024
Original ReleaseOct 30, 2012Oct 10, 2023

Admins who want to keep their on-premises Windows Server 2012 servers running and continue to receive security updates and bug fixes can also upgrade to Windows Server 2022.

Another option is to migrate databases and applications to Azure Virtual Machines, which will provide them with free extended security updates for three years after the end of support.

“Customers can use Azure Arc to automatically deploy the purchased ESUs on-premises, as well as extend Azure security and governance to their environment,” Microsoft explains.

Further information regarding Extended Security Updates is available on this frequently asked questions page.

“With cyberattacks becoming more sophisticated and frequent, running apps and data on unsupported versions can create significant security and compliance risks,” Microsoft said in July 2021 when it reminded admins that the end of support for Windows Server 2012 was quickly approaching.

“It is highly recommended that customers upgrade to the most current versions for better performance, efficiency, and regular security updates.”

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