Exchange Server 2010: Support extended to October 13, 2020

[German]Surprising announcement that Microsoft made a few hours ago. The End of Life date of Exchange Server 2010 will be extended to October 2020.


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End of Life was actually January 14, 2020.

Until this week, it was known that Exchange Server 2010, released in November 2009, would be reach end of live on January 14, 2020, along with Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2. The Microsoft document End of Support for Exchange 2010 – Roadmap, still contains the message there on 17.9.2019:

On October 13, 2020, Exchange Server 2010 will reach end of support. If you haven’t already begun your migration from Exchange 2010 to Office 365 or Exchange 2016, now’s the time to start your planning.

The colleagues at deskmodder.de have noticed an announcement from Microsoft in the tech community that the support date will be extended until October 13, 2020. 

Microsoft Extending End of Support for Exchange Server 2010 to October 13th, 2020

After investigating and analyzing the deployment state of an extensive number of Exchange customers we have decided to move the end of Extended Support for Exchange Server 2010 from January 14th 2020 to October 13th 2020.

The reason given for this move is that the company wants to meet the changing needs of its customers. Translated, this means that the majority of customers continue to rely on Exchange Server 2010 instead of migrating to successor products. The (long known) end of support for a product as popular and reliable as Exchange Server 2010 seems to have led to an outcry among customers. There’s no other way I can explain this move from Microsoft. On the other hand, Microsoft is merging the end of support with Office 2010 and SharePoint Server 2010.

October 2020 is the end of support

But Redmond makes it clear: After October 13, 2020, Microsoft will no longer offer technical support for problems that arise. This also applies to bug fixes for problems that are discovered and that can affect the stability and usability of the server. More importantly, security fixes for discovered vulnerabilities that can make the server vulnerable to attacks and time zone updates are also available.

Although customers can continue to install Exchange 2010 beyond this date, the lack of updates means that they run risks. Microsoft also reminds customers that Exchange Server 2010 runs on Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2. Extended support for these two server variants ends on January 14, 2020, but Microsoft offers re-hosting for Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2 on Microsoft Azure. Then there will be another 3 years Extended Security Update support for these server versions.


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Does Microsoft have a cloud problem?

For me, the whole thing raises an exciting question. The end of support for Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 has been known for a long time. Why don’t people switch to a follow-up product at an early stage? It is possible to use on-premise and cloud solutions like:

  • Migrating to Exchange Server 2016 (on Windows Server 2016)
  • Migrating to Exchange Server 2013 (on Windows Server 2012 R2)
  • Migrating to Office 365

However, the on-premises solution Exchange Server 2013 will be dropped from support on April 11, 2023, and Exchange 2016 will continue to be supported until October 14, 2025. Even Exchange Server 2019 will expire on October 14, 2024.

Since I have no activities in this area, I wonder why people don’t switch to a successor solution? What is interesting for me in this context is Microsoft’s commitment to extending support:

We also know that some of you are about to upgrade to a newer version of Exchange Server onsite or perform transformative migrations to the cloud with Office 365 and Exchange Online. With this in mind, we are extending the end of support until October 13, 2020 to give Exchange Server 2010 customers more time to complete their migrations. This extension also fits with the end of support for Office 2010 and SharePoint Server 2010.

Within the Techcommunity article, Microsoft massively propagates the switch to the cloud. At this point, I ask myself how lucrative migration to Office 365 or Exchange Online is for those affected. Would you rather migrate to Exchange 2016 or are Exchange Online or Office 365 the right choice? Both are subscription and cloud models, if I see it correctly.

Background information about Exchange

Microsoft Exchange Server s a groupware and email transport server software from Microsoft. The product is used for the central storage and administration of e-mails, appointments, contacts, tasks and other elements for several users and thus enables collaboration in a workgroup or in a company. Exchange Server requires Microsoft Windows server software and is therefore mainly used in infrastructures dominated by Microsoft products.


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