When Microsoft reports end-of-life on their products, some business owners will wonder, “Can’t I just keep using it anyway?” Of course you can. There’s no law that states that you have to upgrade. You’re also welcome to use the same workstations for 10 years and completely ignore antivirus updates and long support ticket times. Get my drift? While it might seem a little brash, the truth is that you truly cannot continue to use Microsoft Server 2003 after July 14th. Why? Straight from the horse’s mouth we asked our team members why a business owner should not continue to use Microsoft Server 2003 – and here are the answers we got:
“It isn’t even an option to consider not upgrading…
Starting on July 15th of this year any server running that operating system represents a massive security risk. Consider this… Hackers are always looking for ways to find things or penetrate systems across the world. Well, on July 15th they will have open access to every hole they can uncover with Windows 2003 until the end of time. It matters because you can’t afford the exposure to that kind of risk. You may be flying below the radar as a small company with no reason to be hacked, but as of Server 2003 end of life, anyone with that still active on their network is a target. And an easy target nonetheless because Microsoft won’t even be patching the holes.” – Kyle Cebull, CMO, Entech.
“When support for Server 2003 runs out later this year, any out of date systems will become easy targets for hackers and viruses…
No support from Microsoft means that new software will no longer be available for the platform (office, exchange, etc) and 3rd party software will begin dropping support for the OS as well.” – Logan Roberts, Strategy Manager, Entech
In short? It’s all a matter of how much you value your data and your willingness to take risk. If you continue to use Microsoft Server 2003, you wouldn’t receive important virus updates or patches that would fix security holes. Beyond security, the point that third party software will also begin dropping support for the operating system is a valid point as well. It’ll be a tough pill to swallow to not be able to upgrade your software application because it doesn’t work with your old operating system.
We know the phrase well: “evolve or die” — and in the case of Microsoft Server 2003, while it may not be a sure thing – there are no guarantees. Support is ending on July 15th and the gamble is huge for a small business that wishes to protect their data. It’s time to migrate to a new operating system. Check out this blog for options for moving away from Server 2003. My recommendation? The cloud.