Microsoft's sounded the 100-day warning bell for Windows Server 2003, which exits supported status on July 14th.
Redmond's rolling out the usual arguments for making the move to anything other than Server 2003: you're going to be insecure; you're missing out on the joy of virtualisation and automation, and the savings they generate; don't even think about trying to do cloud or mobile with Windows Server 2003; by sticking with 2003 you've tied yourself to the CPU equivalent of a steam engine and there's no future in that, and; no way can you be a disruptive innovator on a crusty old operating system like Windows Server 2003.
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All of which are sound arguments. Why, then, are at least 57 per cent of the organisations Microsoft had Spiceworks poll still running at least one Windows Server 2003 instance 100 days from its implosion?
Mike Heald, Microsoft's cloud and enterprise man in Australia, had no answer beyond an acknowledgement that apps are sometimes tightly coupled to servers and operating systems, which makes upgrades tricky. Especially for smaller businesses if they're impecunious or tied to legacy apps.
Heald hopes that organisations aren't sticking with Windows Server 2003, but are either about to shunt workloads to Server 2012 or Azure, because Microsoft has armed its channel with tools to make that easy. And to educate laggard Windows Server 2003 users about all the things they're missing out on.
Microsoft finds itself in this position quite often. The company campaigned about the awfulness of Internet Explorer 6.0 to encourage upgrades and has failed to kill off Windows XP.
If you choose to ignore Microsoft's dire imprecations about Windows Server 2003, extended support can be yours for a price. ®