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Microsoft Windows Server Lifecycle

Microsoft Windows Server products follow a fixed lifecycle policy to allow you to plan your server refresh cycles around set dates. From the date of launch you can expect 5 years of mainstream support, followed by a period of extended support. You can see these dates for specific Server releases in the table at the bottom of this page.

Mainstream support

Mainstream Support is the first phase of the product lifecycle. At the supported service pack level, Mainstream Support for products and services includes:

  • Incident support (no-charge incident support, paid incident support, support charged on an hourly basis, support for warranty claims)
  • Security update support
  • The ability to request non-security updates

Extended support

The Extended Support phase follows Mainstream Support. At the supported service pack level, Extended Support includes:

  • Paid support
  • Security updates at no additional cost

What happens after support ends?

When extended support ends, Microsoft no longer releases security patches that would otherwise keep the server protected against exploits to vulnerabilities. There is usually an option for paid support from Microsoft to support the package with these patches for a few more years however it is likely that from Server 2012 onwards this now requires a migration to an Azure (Microsoft Cloud) environment.

We recommend upgrading the Windows Server software as part of a 5-year hardware refresh cycle, to enjoy the benefits that come with new Windows Server releases in addition to mainstream support for the life of the server.

Windows Server Lifecycle Dates

Windows Server Release Support Start Date End of Mainstream Support End of Extended Support
Windows Server 2008 6th May, 2008 13th January, 2015 14th January, 2020
Windows Server 2012 25th November, 2013 9th October, 2018 10th October, 2023
Windows Server 2016 15th October, 2016 11th January, 2022 12th January, 2027
Windows Server 2019 13th November, 2018 9th January, 2024 9th January, 2029
Windows Server 2022 18th August, 2021 13th October, 2026 14th October, 2031