As we start the month of October, one of Microsoft's longest-running Windows Server versions is finally coming to the end of its official support very soon. Windows Server 2012, and its Windows Server 2012 R2 update, with both reaching the end of their lifecycles on October 10, 2023.
After this date, these products will no longer receive security updates, non-security updates, bug fixes, technical support, or online technical content updates.
The original Windows Server 2012, which was based on Windows 8, hit the RTM stage on August 1, 2012, and it officially launched to the general public on September 4, 2012. Ironically, Windows Server 2012 will end up lasting much longer than Windows 8, which reached its end of life in 2016. It even lasted longer than Windows 8.1. Microsoft ended its official support in January 2023.
Microsoft had four different SKUs for Windows Server 2012. Essentials was the cheapest at $425, followed by Standard at $882, and then there was the Datacenter SKU at $4.809. There was another SKU, Foundation, that was made for OEM businesses and had no public price tag.
Just like Microsoft quickly released Windows 8.1 a year after the launch of Windows 8, it also launched Windows Server 2012 R2 in the same time frame. It went gold on August 27, 2013, and officially launched on October 14, 2013.
While official support for Windows Server 2012 and 2012 is ending in a few days, businesses who still need time to transition to a more recent version of the server OS do have options. One is they can access up to three years of extended security updates on Microsoft's Azure cloud services.
Businesses who need on-site access to Windows Server 2012 can also get Extended Security Updates (ESUs) for three years, until October 13, 2026, but that will cost an undisclosed amount of money. Finally, businesses can just update to the most current version of the OS, Windows Server 2022, which launched in September 2022.