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Microsoft announces 16 years of support for Windows, SQL Servers

New 'Premium Assurance' plan extends support by six years, means Windows Server 2008 R2 will live until 2026

By Simon Sharwood, 12 Dec 2016

Microsoft's announced a new “Premium Assurance” plan for Windows Server and SQL Server.

Redmond currently offers five years of Mainstream Support on the aforementioned products, during which new features are added and updates are made for reasons of security or just to fix things up. Next comes five years of extended support, during which the security fixes and functionality tweaks keep flowing.

The new support offering will see bugs rated “critical” or “important” patched for the six-year duration of the Premium Assurance plan.

The outcome of the new plan is that operating systems like Windows Server 2008 R2 will now be supported until the year 2026. SQL Server 2008 can now be supported until 2025.

Microsoft's billing Premium Assurance as a comfort to those running applications that may not be easy to evaporate into a cloud. By offering extended support, Redmond reckons, you can just keep them running without worrying about migration.

Premium Assurance goes on sale early in 2017 and Pricing suggests Microsoft wants you to buy this product sooner rather than later: if you sign between March and June 2017, it will cost you five per cent of your current licence costs. Delay until July 2019 and that figure rises to 12 per cent. A datasheet (PDF) explains the costs in detail.

One last thing: the post announcing Premium Assurance includes the following nuggetoid of information:

“The next version of Windows Server is currently in planning, and will further advance the Windows Server 2016 capabilities around hybrid cloud, multi-layered security, containers, Nano Server, and software-defined datacenter technology.

Whether that's a reference to a second edition for Windows Server 2016 or a full release isn't explained. Either way, news Microsoft has more on-premises innovation on the way will hearten those who worry that operating system innovation may have stalled in the age of the cloud. ®

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