Microsoft Extended Security Updates for Windows and Windows Server

What's happening?

Windows Server 2012/2012 R2 reached the end of their support lifecycle on Oct 10th, 2023. Microsoft is selling Extended Security Updates (ESU) to provide support for those products after the end of the normal support lifecycle. Extended Security Updates...

  • will provide Security Updates and Bulletins rated “critical” and “important” for a maximum of three years after Oct 10th, 2023, and will be sold in one-year increments.
  • will be distributed if and when available.
  • do not include technical support, but you may use other Microsoft support plans to get assistance on your Server 2012 and 2012 R2 questions on workloads covered by Extended Security Updates.
  • do not include new features, customer-requested non-security hotfixes, or design change requests. However, Microsoft may include non-security fixes as deemed necessary.
This FAQ is an excellent resource for general questions about Extended Security Updates.

Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008/2008R2 have completed their extended security update cycle as of Jan 2023.

Licensing and Purchasing

Extended Security Updates for Windows Server 2012/2012R2 Standard and Datacenter are available for purchase from the Software Order Form.. The ESU SKUs closely follow the Windows Server licensing model.
  • You can purchase Extended Security Updates at any time. The prices are not prorated.
  • Provisioning of Extended Security Updates will be through special multiple activation keys (MAKs) that you will receive in an email within an hour of your order.
    • Standard and Datacenter use the same ESU MAKs.
  • Software Assurance must be maintained on the Windows Server licenses being covered by Extended Security Updates. If software assurance lapses during the term of the Extended Security Updates, your right to use Extended Security Updates ends.
  • If your Windows Server 2012/2012R2 license doesn't have software assurance associated with it and you want to cover it with Extended Security Updates, there are two options, both of which would be in addition to the Extended Security Updates above.
    • You can purchase a new perpetual Windows Server license with software assurance from the Software Order Form.
    • You can purchase a lease for Windows Server with software assurance.
      • The term of the lease would begin on the first day of the month following your purchase date and end on October 31st, at which time you can either let it lapse or renew it for another year.
      • Windows Server leases do not include perpetual license rights.
      • The purchase price of leases that begin on dates other than November 1st would be prorated to correspond with an end date of October 31st. Because of that, each order for a Windows Server lease will need to be quoted before purchase.
      • These items license two physical cores on one machine; the minimum order is 8, which would license one machine with up to 16 cores. If your server has more than 16 cores, you would need to purchase additional quantities. This is the normal licensing rules for Windows Server.
  • If you'd like to get an estimate of the costs of licensing your systems for Extended Security Updates, please email



If you've purchased Extended Security Updates and installed the ESU MAK on your system(s), you can follow this procedure from Microsoft to test the ability of the system(s) to receive ESUs:

Keywordswindows 7 server 2008 2008r2 r2 2012 2012r2 mak Microsoft support lifecycle life cycle end updates security critical important software assurance lease perpetual license esu Extended Security Updates   Doc ID94429
OwnerNick R.GroupDoIT Help Desk
Created2019-09-11 13:43:09Updated2024-01-16 16:51:32
SitesDoIT Help Desk
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