All good things must come to an end. In the case of some of Microsoft’s most beloved products, that “end” could be sooner than you think. Over the next 12 months, Microsoft will no longer provide updates, technical support, or security patches to various software tools — a process called end of support (EOS).
But what products will reach the final stage of their lifecycle, and how can you prepare for EOS in your organization? Learn more about Microsoft end of support products below.
Microsoft End of Support Products, Explained
Microsoft can phase out its software for multiple reasons:
- Software becomes outdated
- A new, improved version of a software tool launches, rendering the old version worthless
- Software is no longer popular with end users
Microsoft will deliver a timeline for discontinuing security and support for software reaching EOS. The company will also provide end users with information about how to migrate to a new version of the product or a similar product.
What Does EOS Mean for Your Business?
Microsoft won’t secure, update, or support its products after EOS dates. That poses the following dangers of Microsoft products no longer:
- Receiving security patches: This issue can open software up to security breaches, which might infiltrate your systems.
- Providing technical support: It may be difficult for you to troubleshoot software issues, impacting performance and productivity.
- Getting updates: The product won’t have the latest features and will become outdated and difficult to manage.
Switching to new software tools from EOS products (and end of life products) is equally as challenging. You might have to train team members to use the new software. Also, integrating a new product into your organization might require skills that your team lacks.
You can solve these challenges by working with an experienced partner that provides expert guidance for Microsoft end of support products. Even if you aren’t ready to switch to a brand new system, your partner can offer solutions that benefit your business, improve implementation, and cater to your user adoption needs.
What Products are Reaching EOS?
The following Microsoft software products will reach EOS in the next 12 months:
Exchange Server 2013
EOS Date: 4/11/2023
Microsoft Exchange Server will no longer receive security patches after November 2023. This popular enterprise product almost always relies on an internet connection, meaning end users put security at risk if they use it after this date. For example, bad actors will likely utilize exploits previously discovered but not detected.
If you currently use Exchange Server 2013, it’s time to migrate to a newer version of the product or Exchange Online. Migration can take four to six months or more, so plan your next move as soon as possible.
SharePoint Server 2013
EOS Date: 4/11/2023
Like Exchange Server 2013, SharePoint Server 2013 will reach EOS in April 2023. Microsoft will patch all known security vulnerabilities until November 2023, but unknown vulnerabilities could rear their ugly head soon after, posing a security risk for your business.
Consider migrating to a newer version of SharePoint Server or SharePoint Online as soon as possible. Migration can take several months, so it’s best to switch sooner rather than later.
Windows Server 2012/2012 R2
EOS Date: 10/10/2023
Microsoft will no longer provide security updates for Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2 after October 2023. Like the other Microsoft products on this list, continuing to use these versions of Windows Server after the EOS date could spell disaster for your business.
It’s a good idea to migrate to a new version of Windows Server now. That’s because the planning required for such a migration can be significant. Windows Server is likely a core component of your IT system, and migration mistakes could impact business workflows. Working with a Microsoft partner can help you plan a strategy to modernize your IT systems, which might include migrating to the cloud or executing a more traditional upgrade.
Tip: There is an option to purchase extended security updates for up to three years past the EOS date for a Microsoft product. Also, if you migrate EOS workloads to Azure, you will receive free extended security updates for three years.
Premier Support for Government Entities
EOS Date: 7/1/2023
Microsoft will end the direct sale of Premier Support agreements to new government clients on 7/1/2023 and end renewals on 7/1/2024. If you use this tool, you will probably have to move to Unified Support or find a partner that offers support through the Premier Support for Partners program. These options can be expensive and inflexible. Working with a Microsoft partner can provide you with higher-quality support and let you retain access to Microsoft support.
Lync Server 2013
EOS Date: 4/11/2023
Microsoft will no longer provide security patches for Lync Server 2013 after April 2023. Now is the time to consider migrating to Teams or a new version of Skype for Business Server because migration can take several months.
Azure Virtual Machines (Classic)
EOS Date: 3/1/2022
When Microsoft ends support for Azure Virtual Machines (Classic) in March 2023, any servers using the Classic model in Azure will stop working. This move is part of the wider retirement of Azure Cloud Services (Classic), which will be completed on 8/31/2024.
Migrate Classic workloads to the new Azure Resource Manager (ARM) immediately to prevent service interruptions. A Microsoft partner with experience in Azure deployments and migrations can help.
SQL Server 2012/System Center 2012 2012/2012 R2
Microsoft has already ended support for SQL Server 2012 (EOS date: 7/11/2022) and System Center 2012 2012/2012 R2 (EOS date: 7/12/2022). Both of these products are core components of IT operations, so migrate to newer tools if you are still using them.
Several Microsoft products are reaching EOS in the next 12 months, which means the company will no longer update, market, or sell this software after a particular date. You can still use these tools after EOS but doing so brings various security risks. That’s why it’s important to work with a reputable Microsoft expert who can help you strengthen your security strategy.
Dynamic Consultants Group (DCG) can design a strategy to modernize your IT systems. Whether this means migrating to the cloud, refactoring to take advantage of the latest cloud technologies, or implementing a more traditional upgrade, DCG has the experience to move your organization forward. Alternatively, if you want to keep using your favorite Microsoft end of support products, DCG can help. Talk to an expert now!