Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) is key to the Windows servicing process for many organizations. Whether being used standalone or as a component of other products like System Center Configuration Manager or Windows Small Business Server, it provides a variety of useful features, including automating the download and installation of Windows updates.
While WSUS has been built into Windows Server 2012 and later operating systems, most people didn't realize that it was a separate product for earlier operating systems like Windows Server 2008 R2. Because the version that complemented Windows Server 2008 R2, WSUS 3.0, was considered a separate product, it had a separate support lifecycle, and that lifecycle was due to end in July of 2017, even though extended support for Windows Server 2008 R2 continues until January of 2020.
To remedy this situation, we have extended WSUS 3.0 support to coincide with the Windows Server 2008 R2 end of support date. Now, both will be supported through January 14, 2020. While this reduces the sense of urgency, we still would like to encourage organizations to move all remaining WSUS 3.0 servers to a later version, a process that involves migrating to a new version of Windows Server where WSUS 4.0 (or later, in the case of the upcoming Windows Server 2016 release) can be used.
For those using Windows 10, it is particularly important to look at moving to WSUS 4.0 (or later) to support the deployment of Windows 10 feature updates, which add new features to Windows 10. Support for this new type of update has been added to WSUS 4.0 via an update to WSUS itself. This functionality isn't available in WSUS 3.0 because mainstream support for that version has already ended (extended support does not add new capabilities; it only fixes security issues).
To help you with the migration process to WSUS 4.0 (or later), we have provided some additional documentation to help guide you through the process. For more information on WSUS, be sure to check out the WSUS team blog.