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What happens if we don't upgrade our NT4 servers before the MS deadline?

I am a self taught computer administrator for a small company with 10 remote branches. We have been waiting as long as possible to upgrade from our three NT4 servers (one e-mail/data, two Citrix). I need help explaining the consequences of not upgrading to new OSes before the 12/31/2004 Microsoft deadline. Could you please explain to me what could happen if we choose not to wait and how big of a risk are we taking?

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The deadline for end-of-life with Windows NT 4.0 essentially means that there will be no future Service Packs or other upgrades for the NT family of products, and that Microsoft itself will no longer support the product through PSS. This doesn't mean, however, that the program(s) will stop running -- simply that any future fixes or updates will not be done with NT 4.0 in mind. However, Knowledge Base entries for NT 4.0 would still be available, and the last Service Pack for NT 4.0 would still be posted for download. You might want to download the last Service Pack and keep it handy anyway, though.

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This was first published in November 2004

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