Microsoft Cutting Off System Center 2012 Support Next Year

Microsoft announced this week that it plans to end support for System Center 2012 and System Center 2012 R2 on July 12, 2022.

After that date, both products will stop being updated, and Microsoft will no longer roll out patches and security fixes.

Microsoft wants System Center 2012 users to migrate to newer System Center products (System Center 2019 or 2016) or to Microsoft Endpoint Manager. Microsoft combined System Center Configuration Manager and Microsoft Intune into a "Microsoft Endpoint Manager" product back in late 2019.

Last month, Microsoft indicated that the newest System Center products under the "System Center 2022" brand are expected to arrive in the first quarter of next year

The System Center 2012 product will continue to work after the July 12 end date, but it'll be a dead product, and its endpoint protection component won't get updated, Microsoft noted, in an earlier September notice:

Microsoft plans to discontinue definition, engine, and platform updates for SCEP 2012 once the end of support is reached. This discontinuation may occur without any notice.

Organizations shifting to Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager will have to pay for Intune use. In an FAQ document, Microsoft offered the following answer to the question, "Do we have to buy Intune to enable Microsoft Endpoint Manager?":

Yes, there is simplified licensing announced as part of Microsoft Endpoint Manager with effect from December 1, 2019.

Microsoft Endpoint Manager just provides an integrated platform, but organizations using some its integrated features will need to have specific licensing in place for those features, per the FAQ:

You still require appropriate active licenses to deploy Windows Autopilot, Desktop Analytics, Azure Active Directory Conditional Access, Microsoft Defender ATP, and other features according to their individual licensing terms.

Microsoft Configuration Manager gets product updates about three times per year, per a "branch" update model, with each update named by a year-plus-month numbering convention. For instance, the latest release appears to be Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager Update 2109 technical preview.

IT pros use the Updates and Servicing node to perform "in-console updates" of Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager. Updates that are "baseline" versions can be used to "install a new site or hierarchy," Microsoft explained, in this "What's Changed from System Center Configuration Manager" document.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.