back to article 400,000 Windows Server 2003 boxes face SUPPORT DOOM

Businesses of Britain are still running Windows Server 2003 on hundreds of thousands of physical boxes ahead of a certain important deadline on 14 July next year. According to HP, there are 900,000 instances of the eleven year-old software out in the wilds and 400,000 physical boxes, with 218 days to go before Microsoft pulls …

  1. terry 1
    Thumb Down

    And how many of those boxes have dozy users logged on and wandering around dubious websites?

    I don't think the risks are any where are big as XP. None of the few 2k3 boxes I look after are connected to the internet so where's the risk?

    My customers will replace when needed, not because they need to.

    1. Graham 24

      RIsk reduced, not removed

      True, you don't get as many people doing their online banking via a Server 2003 machine as you do via XP, but the risk is still there, even for a machine not connected (directly) to the internet. The vast majority of these systems will be on a corporate internal network, and therefore indirectly vulnerable to downloaded exploits.

      An end-user downloads some malware via one of the usual vectors, but instead of infecting the local machine, the malware scans the network for vulnerable 2003 machines and infects one of those.

    2. chivo243 Silver badge
      Windows

      Are you the sole admin of said installations? Does the network they reside on touch the interwibbles? I see your point, and "if" they are totally internal, never seeing the light of day, more power to you. I might be looking for easy work, are you hiring?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Some people just don't bother patching. I recently came across several Server 2003 boxes at a client with an uptime of over 8 years!

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      MS only even made the extended support available at $200/year/installation for one year because they knew they would have to do absolutely nothing extra to write the patches in question - they would have had to write them anyway for Windows 2K3. This is why they are not putting a price on 2K3 post-EoL support - it would actually require them to do something for the extra money.

      Having said that, POSReady 2009 is based on XP SP3, and this is supported with security patches until 2019 so I don't see this being expensive for them to support, either. The only thing I'm not sure about is whether there is such a thing as POSReady 2009 x64 - I haven't been able to find anything that explicitly says so. If such a thing doesn't exist, the XP x64 users may just run out of luck next year with 2K3 support ends (2K3 x64 patches install cleanly on XP x64, no need to pay $200/year/installation to get them).

  2. NoneSuch Silver badge

    We have eleven 2003 servers and are planning to update only five. The rest have never given us any trouble beyond minor issues and do their jobs well.

  3. Roger Greenwood

    “Microsoft is not open source so nobody can write the patches. . ."

    What is this open source of which you speak? Must look into that.

  4. Tim 11

    "...customers see the need to migrate"

    Maybe MS could try making a server OS that doesn't require a touch screen and then perhaps people will have a realistic choice.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: "...customers see the need to migrate"

      They did. They made one which works via command-line and can be installed without a GUI at all.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "...customers see the need to migrate"

        That would be DOS 6.22?

        Last time I looked Windows Core included a GUI.

        You can even run regedit.

        Make it accessable by serial only, _then_ we are talking no GUI.

        ;-P

        1. JDX Gold badge

          Re: "...customers see the need to migrate"

          >>Last time I looked Windows Core included a GUI.

          Which is optional, no? Server Core mode was one of the big changes in Windows Server 2012.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "...customers see the need to migrate"

            "Server Core mode was one of the big changes in Windows Server 2012."

            Server Core was also available in Server 2008.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "...customers see the need to migrate"

          "Last time I looked Windows Core included a GUI."

          Server Core does NOT include a GUI by default. TEXT / ANSI only.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "...customers see the need to migrate"

        Have you ever used just the command line in Windows Server??

        I have, as an experiment, and it's not good at all. It's embarrassing, I love Windows but I'd never gloat about its CLI. Come back when you've tried to perform anything beyond basic file operations.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "...customers see the need to migrate"

          You ever used PowerShell? So much more than basic file operations...

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "...customers see the need to migrate"

          "Have you ever used just the command line in Windows Server??

          I have, as an experiment, and it's not good at all."

          You have to use it all the time these days via Powershell - sort of like the best hybrid Unix shells like PASH - but much more advanced and powerful.

          " I love Windows but I'd never gloat about its CLI. Come back when you've tried to perform anything beyond basic file operations."

          Because you have no idea what you are talking about. You can do pretty much anything you can do via the GUI - and more - via the command line / Powershell. In fact most of the GUI tools are just wrappers for Powershell scripts!

    2. Snorlax
      WTF?

      Re: "...customers see the need to migrate"

      "Maybe MS could try making a server OS that doesn't require a touch screen and then perhaps people will have a realistic choice."

      A server OS that requires a touchscreen? Are you sure you haven't been sold an iPad or something?

      You might want to fire up a search engine and type in 'server 2012 core install'.

      1. Long John Brass

        Re: "...customers see the need to migrate"

        > A server OS that requires a touchscreen? Are you sure you haven't been sold an iPad or something?

        The brand name wasn't Etch-A-Sketch by any chance?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "replacement activity has yet to show up in any volumes "

    No sign of replacements?

    Perhaps businesses are evaluating what these ancient servers are doing and moving their functions to other existing servers, or virtual machines, or discarding them entirely.

    Or perhaps the tills will ring out in the new year...

  6. Nightkiller

    "HP estimates about ten per cent of customers will consider moving to the cloud."

    The other 90% have plans to keep their data safe.

  7. chivo243 Silver badge
    Windows

    Only one more M$ dinosaur

    I love Volume Licensing! I can upgrade the last of the Mohicans anytime before the axe falls. I've been proactive about staying current as management seems to change their mind like the seasons... Don't want my tit in the wringer due to being lazy.

  8. Mage Silver badge

    cloud storage?

    Not a viable replacement for more than tiniest fraction of a percent of Server Users.

    Windows Server Later versions ... Paying thousands to have what you have now?

    Time to look at migrating from IIS, Exchange and Sharepoint, the only compelling reasons to have Windows Server at all? Lots of people never got locked into those in the first place.

  9. sorry, what?
    Devil

    Having misread the article title...

    I thought it said "400,000 Windows Server 2003 boxes SUPPORT DOOM" and was really looking forward to a massive multi-player DOOMfest link, exploding rocket screenshots and loads of red-splashed status bar action.

    Seeing it's just about MS removing support for an old OS, not so excited any more.

    1. P. Lee Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Having misread the article title...

      Support DOOM: all the helpdesk tickets have an avatar.

      Mines the one with the BFG.

  10. Snow Wombat
    FAIL

    And in August 2015...

    You'll see a shite load of jobs being advertised for migration and upgrade people as businesses assess the cost of paying for "out of band support"

    Businesses will always leave it to well after the last minute because they are lazy and capricious creatures. "Just in time" is the model for IT administration nowadays, with the business wanting to leave it until absolutely the last minute, despite this almost always costing them more in time, money and resources than it would have done if they had done it in a managed way.

  11. CJ_in_AZ

    "Microsoft is not open source so nobody can write the patches"

    Sounds to me like a good reason to migrate to Linux.

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