As July 14 end of life nears, best option for Windows Server 2003 is still to get rid of it

About 275 machines on campus, mostly servers, still use the Windows Server 2003 software that Microsoft will stop supporting on July 14. By far, the best response to its imminent end of life is to replace WS2003 with new software.

But anyone on campus who absolutely positively can't stop using Windows Server 2003 by July 14 has a new short-term option. If they pay $1,500 per server and meet certain conditions, they can buy limited, extended support from Microsoft for one year. Microsoft says it will charge $6,000 next year.

Administrators or business managers interested in the extension should contact Software Licensing Coordination at for details.

Among other conditions, locations that buy the extension must send Microsoft a plan for migrating to new software that includes "device count, quarterly updates and completion date."

When software reaches the end of support, it becomes too insecure to use on machines that connect to the campus network, as per UC Davis policy. Sometimes, however, old software is extremely difficult to replace. Microsoft had been offering extended WS2003 support for $3,000 per license, with a minimum purchase of 100 licenses, but the University of California recently negotiated the lower price with no minimum for UC users.

Windows Server 2003 machines, usually overseen by administrators and technologists, typically support research and run equipment or applications.

For more information about managing expired software, please see the "Outdated software" article in the IT Knowledge Base.

Please direct questions or comments to the IT Express Service Desk at 530-754-HELP (4357).