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Microsoft Warns of Windows Server 2003 Security Support Deadline

Microsoft issued a reminder last week that it will stop sending security updates to System Center Endpoint Protection and Forefront Endpoint Protection for Windows Server 2003 on July 14, 2015.

Windows Server 2003 will also become an "unsupported" product on that date, according to Microsoft's product lifecycle schedule. Products that have passed their "extended support" period no longer receive product updates, including security patches, from Microsoft, presenting a potential security risk for organizations.

In the months before Windows XP was set to lose its product support in April 2014, Microsoft did at least state that it was extending the release of anti-malware definitions for that client operating system. However, in the case of Windows Server 2003, anti-malware support ends when the server becomes an unsupported product. Microsoft is not extending the issuance of anti-malware protections for organizations not making the July 14 deadline.

Microsoft will stop sending so-called "nonsecurity updates," too, by July 14 for System Center Endpoint Protection and Forefront Endpoint Protection for Windows Server 2003. There will be no "free or paid assisted support options" coming from the company.

Microsoft doesn't recommend using Windows Server 2003 past its product lifecycle end date. Even if Windows Server 2003 had good anti-malware support post-July 14, such support may not be enough to keep it secure, according to Microsoft.

"We have found in our research that the effectiveness of antimalware solutions on out-of-support operating systems is limited," the announcement warned.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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