Windows Server Lifecycle: End Of Life And Support Status

Last updated on April 18, 2024

Microsoft also has a dedicated operating system for servers, known as Windows Server. Like Windows 10 and Windows 11, Windows Server also has an End of Life, which means the end of servicing term.

Once an operating system has reached End of Life, it no longer receives features or security updates and is usually forced to upgrade to the latest available version. Windows Server has the regular and the Long term Servicing Channel (LTSC) versions. The regular versions normally have 5-year active support and no security support. However, the LTSC versions have a 5-year active support and an additional 5-year security support.

Support status guide

End of life (EOL) is the end of a product’s useful life. When a product reaches the end of its life cycle, the manufacturer no longer supports it. The following table explains the different phases of a product’s lifecycle. Testing status is when the product is initially released and EOL is when product support is no longer offered. The time between these two points is the support timeframe.

Testing

The software is not yet publicly available. It is in testing phase i.e., alpha, beta, release preview etc.

Active

The software is actively supported by the vendor.

Phasing Out

The software will soon reach its end of life. You need to look for upgrade or migration options. The software will automatically go into phasing out status 2 months before end of life.

End Of Life

The software is no longer supported by the vendor. You need to make sure your system and environment are safe.

Version

Released

Active Support

Extended Support

Windows Server 23H2
6 months and 3 weeks ago
(24 October 2023)
Ends in 11 months and 1 week
(24 April 2025)
Ends in 1 year and 5 months
(24 October 2025)
2 years and 8 months ago
(18 August 2021)
Ends in 2 years and 4 months
(13 October 2026)
Ends in 7 years and 4 months
(14 October 2031)
5 years and 6 months ago
(13 November 2018)
Ended 4 months and 1 week ago
(9 January 2024)
Ends in 4 years and 7 months
(9 January 2029)
7 years and 7 months ago
(16 October 2016)
Ended 2 years and 4 months ago
(11 January 2022)
Ends in 2 years and 7 months
(12 January 2027)
10 years and 6 months ago
(13 November 2013)
Ended 5 years and 7 months ago
(9 October 2018)
Ends in 2 years and 4 months
(13 October 2026)
Windows Server 2008
16 years and 1 week ago
(6 May 2008)
Ended 9 years and 4 months ago
(13 January 2015)
Ended 4 years and 4 months ago
(14 January 2020)
Windows Server 2003
20 years and 11 months ago
(28 May 2003)
Ended 13 years and 10 months ago
(13 July 2010)
Ended 8 years and 10 months ago
(14 July 2015)
Windows Server 2000
24 years and 2 months ago
(17 February 2000)
Ended 18 years and 10 months ago
(30 June 2005)
Ended 13 years and 10 months ago
(13 July 2010)

Every 2 to 3 years, Microsoft releases a major update of the Windows Server operating system. It is named “Windows Server” followed by the year it was released. At the moment, the latest Windows Server version is 2022 .

Windows Server had two servicing channels: LTSC and Semi-Annual Channel (SAC). The latter was discontinued when Windows 10 and Windows 11 also shifted to the one-major-update-per-annum approach. Now, it is only the regular servicing channel and the LTSC.

Additionally, some releases also had the Extended Security Updates (ESU) package. This is more of a feature than a channel, which the customer could purchase. All Windows Server operating systems purchased with an ESU received an additional 3 years of security updates after the security support ends.

While the Extended Security Updates package for Server 2012 and Server 2012 R2 was supposed to expire on 10th October 2023, Microsoft has given the option to the consumers to extend it by another 3 years, which means that it can be extended until 13th October 2026. This has been done so that the Azure users who have still not migrated to Server 2022 have ample time to upgrade their environments. Note that this 3-year extension is annually renewable 3 times. Microsoft announced this extended support for Server 2012 and 2012 R2, where you can find out more about it.

Understanding the concept of end of life for Microsoft Windows Server

While Microsoft follows modern lifecycle policy , there are three main types of end of support/life dates:

End of active support

This means Microsoft will not provide incident support, warranty claims, feature requests, or non-security related requests after the end of mainstream support.

  1. No more free incident support.
  2. No more warranty claims.
  3. No more design changes and feature requests.
  4. No more non-security hotfixes.

Usually, Microsoft provides 5 years of mainstream support after the product is released.

End of security support

The end of extended support means the following:

  1. No more security updates
  2. No more paid support
  3. No more updated content (Knowledgebase etc.)

End of extended security support

The extended security support program is a paid add-on that can be bought while purchasing the Windows Server license, or even afterward. However, the last version available with Extended Security Updates was Windows Server 2012 R2, and the ESU could be bought only before October 2022. Even so, the Windows Server 2012 R2 ESU will also reach End of Life on 13th October 2026, as per Microsoft reports.