SMB Nation Blog

SMB Nation has been serving the Bainbridge Island area since 2001, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Hey SBSer – Did you Forget about June 30, 2013?

What a difference a year makes. Last year at this time, on July 5, 2012, Microsoft announced the end-of-life (EOL) for the acclaimed Windows Small Business Server (SBS) product line. It was a shot heard around the world and dominated community discussions for several months. Yesterday (June 30, 2013) was the shot no one heard. It’s interesting how such a trending topic faded so quickly.

Here are the facts. Starting today (July 1, 2013), you can NO LONGER purchase SBS (any version) from the retail and volume license (VL) channels. You can still purchase SBS from OEMs for another six months until December 31, 2013.

 

There are several questions that MSPs and SBSers much confront.

  • Does anyone care? Apparently not as there is literally no discussion about this topic in the community the past few days. I’ve surveyed other media sites, well-known blogger sites (SBSDIVA, etc.) and the Yahoo newsgroups.

  • Would you sell an EOL product like SBS? The answer is no. As a trusted advisor, it’s not advisable to sell a product that is on its way out.

  • Will SBS 2011 “run” after it’s EOL date (assume December 31, 2013 when OEM SKUs are removed)? Yes. It will still function. The key date moving forward will be in 2020 (not a typo) when support for SBS (all version) is removed. Read the Microsoft Support Lifecycle blog here: http://msmvps.com/blogs/bradley/archive/2013/06/25/what-s-new-in-windows-server-2012-r2-essentials.aspx.

  • What are new SMB technology pathways moving forward? Microsoft is positioning Windows Server 2012 Essentials as the next generation small business IT infrastructure solution. It’s even truer with the R2 release coming this fall (right around the SMB Nation 2013 Fall Conference – hint-hint). Of course there is the loud “Microsoft is forcing cloud down my throat crowd” that fights the Office 365 solution pathway and there are a host of virtual desktop solutions on the market as well.

  • What are other important dates moving forward MSPs and SBSers should be aware of? Suppport for SBS 2003 terminates on April 8, 2014 along with Windows XP support (and Exchange 2003, Server 2003). So it’s bye-bye Bobcat!

The silent passing of the SBS 2011 sales deadline yesterday was just how Microsoft would want it: a non-event in the community.

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Comments 1

Stephen on Saturday, 06 July 2013 22:51

XP Embedded extended support ends 1/2016 and Windows Server 2003 extended support end 7/2015. Since the same NT5 codebase is used for the service packs; that means another 3 years usable for Windows XP desktop. No point in abandoning XP/2003: Microsoft Knowledgebase articles about XP bugs "to be fixed in 6.0" (Vista/Server2008 was codebase 6.0) are still present in Win7/2008R2 (codebase 6.1) and Win8/Server2012 (codebase 6.2). Also remember "end-of-life" means no more "security updates" and no more end user desktop failures the day after "patch Tuesday". Although some people do use Microsoft security products, most serious IT departments use non-Microsoft Security Products in their Networks, and few are abandoning older platforms. Many of my SMB customers require support of older industrial equipment which are not supported by newer Microsoft OS; MS ditched support for legacy technologies. (I know a major PCB shop with $100K+ drilling machines still running on OS2, er eComStation, software.) AND although several White Box builders have stocked up on licensed copies of Microsoft's discontinued software, the availability to purchase is still there. Bad news if Microsoft disabled activation, but with a licensed copy of the software one can disable Licensing check (which means no access to Windows update; already disabled for XP). Microsoft has already disabled browser updates for XP and Vista (for business for Chrome and Firefox). Can't buy Office 2013 (365) for XP or Vista but Systembuilders have stocked up on Office 2007/2010. Or there is Google Docs et al.

XP Embedded extended support ends 1/2016 and Windows Server 2003 extended support end 7/2015. Since the same NT5 codebase is used for the service packs; that means another 3 years usable for Windows XP desktop. No point in abandoning XP/2003: Microsoft Knowledgebase articles about XP bugs "to be fixed in 6.0" (Vista/Server2008 was codebase 6.0) are still present in Win7/2008R2 (codebase 6.1) and Win8/Server2012 (codebase 6.2). Also remember "end-of-life" means no more "security updates" and no more end user desktop failures the day after "patch Tuesday". Although some people do use Microsoft security products, most serious IT departments use non-Microsoft Security Products in their Networks, and few are abandoning older platforms. Many of my SMB customers require support of older industrial equipment which are not supported by newer Microsoft OS; MS ditched support for legacy technologies. (I know a major PCB shop with $100K+ drilling machines still running on OS2, er eComStation, software.) AND although several White Box builders have stocked up on licensed copies of Microsoft's discontinued software, the availability to purchase is still there. Bad news if Microsoft disabled activation, but with a licensed copy of the software one can disable Licensing check (which means no access to Windows update; already disabled for XP). Microsoft has already disabled browser updates for XP and Vista (for business for Chrome and Firefox). Can't buy Office 2013 (365) for XP or Vista but Systembuilders have stocked up on Office 2007/2010. Or there is Google Docs et al.
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