Support for Windows Server 2012 / R2 and Windows 11 21H2 ends on October 10, 2023

Windows[German]A small reminder for administrators of Windows Server 2012 / R2 systems: These will receive security updates for the last time on October 10, 2023 and will then regularly fall out of the 10-year support. However, there is the possibility to continue to receive security updates via paid ESU support for another three years. And users of Windows 11 21H2 should also think about switching to Windows 11 22H2, since the former version will also reach the end of life on October 10, 2023.


Windows Server 2012 / R2

Windows Server 2012 / R2 was released on November 25, 2013 and already fell out of the so-called mainstream support on October 9, 2018. This means that there were no more bug fixes, but only security updates that are distributed until the end of the extended support. This point in time has come on October 10, 2023, as can be seen in the following table of support dates.

Windows 2012 R2 Support Dates

Those who have not yet migrated to a successor version are a bit late. But Microsoft does, after all, provide "Extended Security Updates" support for scenarios where Windows Server 2012 R2 must continue to run, providing support with security updates for a maximum of three more years (until October 13, 2026).

Costs of the ESU program

After all, I pointed out back in July 2021 in the blog post SQL- and Windows Server 2012 get Extended Support (ESU) that customers who can't meet the above end-of-support deadlines and have Software Assurance or subscription licenses under an enterprise contract will have the option to purchase Extended Security Updates. They will then receive three additional years of security updates for SQL Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2.

What is exciting is the question of costs, and here Microsoft is generous with cloud users – is everything covered with the "cloud subscription" (cloud tax). Customers running SQL Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2 in Azure get the advanced security updates for free.


On the other hand, customers with on-premise solutions can book Extended Security Updates for a fee with active Software Assurance or subscription licenses at the following prices.

1st Year: Extended Security Updates costs 75 percent of the license cost of the latest version of SQL Server or Windows Server annually.
2nd year: Extended Security Updates costs 100 percent of the license cost of the latest version of SQL Server or Windows Server.
3rd year: Extended Security Updates costs 125 percent of the license cost of the latest version of SQL Server or Windows Server

Customers only pay for the servers they need to cover, so they can reduce costs each year as they upgrade parts of their environment.

Windows 11 Version 21H2

On Tuesday, October 10, 2023, Windows 11 version 21H2 in the Home and Pro variants will also reach the End of Life. After that, there will be no more security updates. This applies to the following editions released in October 2021, according to Microsoft:

  • Windows 11 Home, Version 21H2
  • Windows 11 Pro, Version 21H2
  • Windows 11 Pro for Workstations, Version 21H2
  • Windows 11 Pro Education, Version 21H2

Users are left to switch to Windows 11 22H2 (which is free and gets support until October 8, 2024) or another operating system. With Windows 11 22H2, however, there are some difficulties with the September 2023 updates.

Similar articles:
Patchday: Windows 11/Server 2022-Updates (12. September 2023)
Windows 11 22H2: Preview Update KB5030310 (26. September 2023
Windows 11 22H2/23H2: September 2023 Preview Update KB5030310 forces shadow font on desktop icons

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