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Microsoft Windows Server 2003 still being used in many organizations

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Despite the fact that Microsoft has already announced the end of support for Microsoft Windows Server 2003 and the deadline of July 14 drawing near, there are still large number of organizations which continue to use the age old server operating system and do not seem to be ready for a shift.

According to a recent study conducted by Softchoice, 21 per cent of servers were still operating Windows Server 2003 in the first half of 2015, down 11 per cent as compared to the same period last year.

End of support for the server OS means Microsoft will no longer issue patches or updates for bug fixes or security issues (critical for protection against malware, viruses and security breaches) for any version of Windows Server 2003 after July 14. The end of security fixes will leave SMBs and enterprises that are still using the operating system vulnerable to a vast array of threats.

David Brisbois, senior manager of assessment and technology at Softchoice, said that companies’ reticence to make a shift could ultimately prove costly.

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“With less than a month to go until Windows [Microsoft] pulls support for Windows Server 2003, it’s surprising that there still isn’t a greater sense of urgency among organizations to modernize and upgrade their systems”, David said.

“Failing to upgrade in time will only add to costs, complicate the transition, and result in serious business risk after 14 July when Microsoft is no longer providing support or security updates”.

For businesses that are not able to upgrade in time, Microsoft is offering them Custom Support Agreements for receiving ongoing patch and update support for WS2003. But, the extended support won’t come cheap. It is reported that the Redmond will charge around $600 to $700 per license for the Standard edition.

Microsoft is advising Windows Server 2003 users to migrate to Windows Server 2012 R2, Microsoft Azure or Office 365, in order to get concrete benefits, including improved performance, reduced maintenance requirements, and increased agility and speed of response to the business.