Another important end-of-life event for a major operating system is coming up in July 2015, but this time I'd say the stakes are perhaps even higher. Server 2003 will cease to receive official update support after that time, and there are still a lot of smaller offices and virtual servers running on this platform.
eWeekSince its launch 11 years ago, the operating system was succeeded by Windows Server 2008 and 2012. Despite those releases, Windows Server 2003 maintains a strong grip on some data centers, said Anderson.
"The fact of the matter is that there is a significant amount of Windows Server 2003 to upgrade around the world; we estimate that there are more than 15,000,000 physical servers that are likely to be upgraded over the next 12 months," he said.
Migrating millions of servers to Windows Server 2012 could provide Microsoft's virtualization technology, Hyper-V, with a big boost against rival VMware.
Anderson indicated that "many organizations are using the upgrade as the point in time they also migrate from VMware to Hyper-V." Windows Server 2003, unlike Server 2012, does not ship with the hypervisor, he observed.