What Windows 2012 End of Life Means

The clock is ticking on the Windows Server 2012 End of Life (EOL) deadline. On October 10th 2023, millions of small and medium-sized businesses worldwide will be exposed to vulnerabilities and cyberattack when Microsoft ceases to support the aging server. This article explains the consequences of ignoring Windows 2012 EOL and lays out the upgrade paths available, on-premises or in the cloud.

We recommend our clients migrate to the cloud, moving their infrastructure into Microsoft Azure because it offers a whole host of added benefits including security, flexibility, and a reduced cost of ownership. But there are options for businesses who want or need to preserve an on-premises environment too. Whichever strategy you choose, doing nothing is not an option. Here’s why…

 What does Windows 2012 End of Life mean for small businesses?

When a piece of software reaches EOL, Microsoft stops supporting it. This means no further updates, no more vulnerability patches, bug fixes or technical support. The Windows Server 2012 End of Life deadline is 10th October 2023. Businesses that haven’t put an upgrade path in place will instantly become prey to the cyber criminals who will be waiting to swoop.

 What are the risks of ignoring the Windows 2012 EOL deadline

 Cyberthreat and security

From October 11th onwards there will be no security patches or updates. This means that there is no protection in the Windows server 2012 operating system against new vulnerabilities. It’s not surprising that orchestrated cyberattacks rise following EOL software deadlines. These are designed to target vulnerable small businesses that haven’t acted quickly enough to dodge the bullet. For them, the risks of ransomware and data breaches significantly increase. Losses could be financial, reputational or legal.

 Will my cyber insurance cover me after Windows Server 2012 End of Life?

If you are still operating on EOL software, your insurer is unlikely to provide cover in the event of cyberattack or breach. In the same way you need to ensure your home is secure from intruders, you will need to prove that you have secured your business as best you can before making a claim, should you fall prey to bad actors.

 Lack of technical support

Microsoft’s technical support for Windows 2012 will cease. This means no access to resources, bug fixes or troubleshooting. If you’ve got a problem, you’ll probably have to live with it. If you use an outsourced IT team, while they will have extensive knowledge of Windows Server 2012, they might decline to support your business; you become a high-risk client.


If your business is subject to strict data protection or privacy regulation, or if you hold accreditations such as Cyber Essentials or ISO 20007, an unsupported server will result in non-compliance. This could lead to fines or loss of business.


 What are my options to upgrade from Windows Server 2012?

To avoid the risks associated with using EOL software, you will need to either find an alternative on premises environment or move to the cloud. Whatever path you choose, you will need a migration plan. Here are the obvious options:

 Option A: Migrating from Windows Server 2012 to Windows Server 2022

This is the latest version of Microsoft’s server operating system, and it comes with all the usual improvements in security and performance. For companies who operate in a hybrid cloud environment, this is a good choice. You will need to check a couple of things when planning your migration:

  • Make sure any non-Microsoft applications are compatible
  • Check that the hardware is compliant
  • Remember to buy new Client Access Licenses (CALs) if the server is on-premises

 Option B: Migrating from Windows Server 2012 to Microsoft Azure

Transitioning your environment to the cloud is the preferred path for avoiding problems after Windows Server 2012 End of Life. Microsoft Azure was developed so that small businesses could enjoy the same advantages of being in the cloud previously reserved for larger enterprises. You can enjoy heightened security, reduced costs and instant scalability while creating a collaborative, flexible modern workplace.

To discuss your options further, feel free to <get in touch>.

Our certifications