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Microsoft Reveals Its Product Roadmap, Issues Windows Server 2003 Warning

The news that the next version of Windows Server and System Center won't come until next year caught many off guard who were under the impression one would come later this year. Microsoft brought its enterprise product roadmap into fuller view with that announcement and the promise of a new version of SharePoint Server later this year.

This latest information came at a fortuitous time for my colleague Gladys Rama, who was putting the finishing touches on the updated 2015 Microsoft Product Roadmap for sister publication Redmond Channel Partner. Check it out if you want to know planned release dates for anything noteworthy to an IT pro from Microsoft.

As for the delay of Windows Server v.Next, ordinarily it would seem par for the course. But after releasing Windows Server 2012 R2 just a year after Windows Server 2012 and messaging that Microsoft was moving toward a faster release cadence,  it was more surprising. Whether by design or otherwise, the news removes a key decision point for IT pros who were considering waiting for the new Windows Server to come out before migrating their Windows Server 2003-based systems.

As soon as Microsoft got the word out that the new Windows Server is on next year's calendar, it issued another reminder that Windows Server 2003's end of support is less than six months away.  Takeshi Numoto, corporate VP for cloud and enterprise marketing, gave the latest nudge this week in a blog post once again warning of the risks of running the unsupported operating system after the July 14 deadline.

"Windows Server 2003 instances will, of course, continue to run after end of support," he noted. "However, running unsupported software carries significant security risks and may result in costly compliance violations. As you evaluate security risks, keep in mind that even a single unpatched server can be a point of vulnerability for your entire infrastructure."

Microsoft has urged customers to migrate to Windows Server 2012 R2 and, where customers feel it makes sense, consider a cloud service such as Office 365 to replace Exchange Server on-premises as well as Azure or other cloud infrastructure or platform services to run database applications, SharePoint and other applications.

Did the news that Windows Server v.Next have any impact on your Windows Server 2003 migration plans? Or was the prospect of it possibly coming later this year too close for comfort for your planning purposes?

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 02/06/2015 at 4:05 PM


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