Microsoft this week released a final security rollup for Windows 2000 Server, which arrives just one day before the software platform moves from Mainstream into Extended Support.
The update rollup for Windows Server Service Pack 4 does not contain new features;
After July 1, Microsoft will continue to support Windows 2000 Server with security updates but will no longer add new features and hotfixes. Customers can receive hotfixes as part of a special paid program offered by Microsoft.
Microsoft had said it would forego releasing a service pack with features and instead offer the security rollup last December. Company executives said that in a mature product, the call for fixes tends to drop dramatically over time and the rollup tends to be less disruptive.
Plenty of corporate customers have Windows 2000 Server installed throughout their enterprises, but SP4 is a particular help for small and medium business customers that may not have the budget to upgrade to Windows Server 2003 just yet.
"For the SMBs it will be a plus because it means they won't be left behind as Microsoft continues to advance its strategic interests in security," said Scott Crawford, a security expert at Enterprise Management Associates in Boulder, Colo. "This is the customer base that gets hit with the biggest challenges."
Of course many enterprise customers have their migrations to Windows Server 2003 well underway, and for those who haven't already, they are certainly thinking about getting the job done. Greg Neveau, an IT professional at the American Medical Security Life Insurance Co., Green Bay, Wisc. "We will be migrated to [Windows Server] 2003 soon, but I'm sure [at least one of our servers] will be stuck [on 2000]," Neveau said.
"Having the service pack as a roll up does make life easier, instead of having to install them one by one," Neveau said.
A recent poll of 151 TechTarget readers using Windows 2000 Server showed that 91 customers were in the process of upgrading to Windows Server 2003.