Microsoft extends security updates for Windows and SQL Server 2012 and 2008

Free if you move ’em to Azure, but on-prem costs will exceed licence fees in third and final year of new offer


Microsoft has announced Extended Security Updates for Windows Server 2008 and 2012, and for SQL Server 2012 – and made it free if you run them in its Azure cloud.

The current extended support offering for Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2 ends on October 10, 2023. However, Monojit Bhattacharya, a product management leader for Azure and member of Microsoft’s Windows Server Team, has revealed that Redmond is offering “Extended Security Updates” for three years.

SQL Server 2012, for which extended support ends on July 12, 2022, has also been given an extra three years of security updates.

Microsoft’s made this an offer that’s hard to resist by making it free – if users move their workloads into Azure. They also must apply the Azure Hybrid Benefit – a scheme that allows use of on-prem licences acquired under Software Assurance.

Azure Hybrid Benefit includes lower Azure prices than are available with other offers. Microsoft seldom tires of pointing out that the Benefit therefore makes Azure the cheapest place to run Windows Server and SQL Server in the cloud.

If you persist in running on-prem, Microsoft will ramp the price of the extended update offering. In year one it’ll cost three quarters of your licence costs, in year two the price will be at parity, and in year three Extended Security Updates will cost 125 per cent of the license cost.

Windows Server 2008 and SQL Server has also been given a little extra love, with one more year of updates offered – but only in Azure.

SQL Server and Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 Extended Security Updates are currently scheduled to end on July 9, 2022, and January 14, 2023, respectively.

News of the Extended Security Updates was revealed at Microsoft’s partner centric “Inspire” virtual gabfest which, in addition to the announcement of cloudy Windows 365 desktops, saw Redmond reveal:

  • New pricing for Azure Virtual Desktops designed to make them a better option for software vendors that wish to use them to deliver streamed apps as a SaaS option;
  • Fees for applications sold through Microsoft’s AppSource and Azure Marketplace cut to three per cent, down from 20 per cent. Microsoft came right out and said this change is all about a desire to “lead the way in simplifying the process of buying and procuring software for enterprise customers, as well as optimising their spending”;
  • Tweaks to the Azure Stack HCI offering, including secured-core servers that use TPM 2.0, firmware protections and hypervisor-based code integrity that together make it harder to attack a server;
  • Event Grid integration with API management, to help manage new users or subscriptions that use APIs.

Inspire continues tomorrow. ®

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