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Microsoft has announced that it is extending security updates for Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2008, and SQL Server 2012. The software giant also announced that the updates will be free if users run on Azure.

The current extended support offering for Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2 runs up to October 10, 2023.

However, Monojit Bhattacharya, a product management leader for Azure and a member of the Windows Server Team, revealed that the company is offering ‘Extended Security Updates for three years.

Extensions and enticements

SQL Server 2012 will also receive an extra three years of security updates, after its extended support ends on July 12, 2022.

Microsoft has made the offer harder to resist, by making it free for users who move to Azure. They must also use Azure Hybrid Benefit, a scheme allowing the use of on-premises licenses acquired under Software Assurance.

Azure Hybrid Benefit includes lower Azure prices that are available on other offers. Microsoft is always quick to remind us that the Benefit makes Azure the cheapest place to run Windows Server and SQL Server in the cloud. If you insist on running on-premises, the price of the extended update offering will go up.

The ‘Inspire’ partners event continues

Windows Server 2008 and SQL Server also got one more year of updates, but only if run on Azure. SQL Server and Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 Extended Security Updates are currently scheduled to end on July 9, 2022, and January 14, 2023, respectively.

News of the Extended Security Updates was revealed during Microsoft’s Inspire partners virtual event, in addition to the announcement of cloud Windows 365 desktops.

Other announcements included new pricing for Azure Virtual Desktop and revised fees for apps sold through AppSource and Azure Marketplace (20% to 3%).