The Windows XP retirement scenario passed (or is passing) away without much trouble, but the windows Server 2003 retirement could prove to be a handful for those still on that old platform.

Microsoft is gearing up to end support for this server version of Windows next year.

April 14, 2015 is the big day, and security experts are warning that organizations should start preparing for the moment — unless they want a similar, or worse, situation than the one Windows XP provided. And there are a few solid reasons for that.

According to this report, only a few companies that are still running Windows Server 2003 have expressed that they plan to upgrade.

For this reason, David Mayer, practice director, Microsoft Solutions for Insight Enterprises believes that the end of support for this particular version of Windows could affect a lot more people, as this flavor of the operating system runs servers that are critical for business operations:

“When Microsoft ended support for Windows XP in April, about one quarter of U.S. businesses were still using the operating system, which caused a series of operational issues and potential security challenges.

While XP was primarily a desktop issue, Server 2003 end of service affects entire servers, with the potential to have widespread impact on many more business operations.”

Security risks for Windows Server 2003 are increasing as we approach the deadline.

And worse yet, keeping this server version of Windows secure is going to be quite a challenge. Upgrading to a newer version is the only viable solution, as third-party security support (antivirus, firewalls) is very limited for it. At least when compared to the desktop Windows XP.

It remains to be seen how Microsoft manages this critical moment, one that is fast approaching.

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  • Lars

    I’ve been prepared for 5 years now! 99% of people should be prepared on some level at this point.

    • Mike Greenway

      Exactly! This post makes me wonder, who do they think their reader are?