Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2 reach end of support, sort of
On October 10, 2023, Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2 will reach end of support officially. Microsoft notes on a support page that the products "will no longer receive security updates, non-security updates, bug fixes, technical support, or online technical content updates" after the date.
While support is ending officially, Microsoft has thrown a lifeline to administrators that need more time to migrate servers. Extended Security Updates are available for the next three years as two different options.
A third-party option is also available, courtesy of micro-patching provider 0Patch. The company is also promising three additional years of security updates for Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2.
A look back in history
Microsoft released Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2 on November 25, 2013 originally, about one year after the official release of Windows 8.
The server editions reached end of mainstream support in October 2018; this meant that Microsoft stopped releasing feature updates for these systems. Windows 10 was on the market for three years already at the time, and the first Server version, Windows Server 2016, was released in October 2016 as a successor for Server 2012 products.
The future of Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2
Microsoft will release a last batch of security updates for Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2 on October 10, 2023. Regular security updates will no longer be released after support ends.
System administrators have two options to extend support officially; this can be useful if they need more time to migrate to new server products.
Extended Security Updates for Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2 are free in Azure and need to be purchased for on-premises deployments.
Here are the support periods:
|Version||Start Date||End Date|
|Extended Security Update Year 3||Oct 15, 2025||Oct 13, 2026|
|Extended Security Update Year 2||Oct 9, 2024||Oct 14, 2025|
|Extended Security Update Year 1||Oct 11, 2023||Oct 8, 2024|
|Original Release||Nov 25, 2013||Oct 10, 2023|
Server 2012 and 2012 R2 customers may migrate to Azure to receive up to three years of extended security updates for free. Azure itself is not free, but it may be an option for organizations who use Azure already.
A good starting point is the Azure cloud migration and modernization center website.
Extended Security Updates may be purchased if customers want to continue running Windows Server on-premises. The full license price is charged for each year of extended security updates. The only exception is SQL Server 2012; an extension costs 75% in the first year for this server product.
Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2 support can be extended by up to three years to continue running the products either locally or using Azure.
October 13, 2026 marks the end of support for the server products at the time of writing.Advertisement