Over the past several weeks, the Windows Server team has received a number of inquiries regarding certification and support for certain hardware platforms and questioning as to any change in policy we may have in this regard. We want to ensure there is no misunderstanding of our policies or plans for Windows Server as it relates to hardware support.
The simple answer is, there is no change to our current policy.
The Windows Server platform is supported on certified or logo’d hardware as listed in the Windows Server Catalog. Today, you can browse the catalog and find hardware that meets or exceeds our minimum server hardware requirements and has been successfully certified for Windows Server 2008, 2008 R2, 2012, and 2012 R2. For Windows Server, we outline the Microsoft Support Lifecycle as consisting of five years of mainstream support followed by five years of extended support. This lifecycle is important in terms of our support policies as well as the timeframe for which new devices and systems can be certified. We allow new systems to be submitted for certification up to the point when the OS transitions to extended support.
For example, Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2 will transition to extended support on 1/10/2018. Per our policy we would allow new system submissions for Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2 to continue up to this date, including the forthcoming Intel Xeon E3 (Skylake) family of processors.
We hope this provides some clarity on our plans for Windows Server and our hardware support policies. Please take a look at the links above if you need additional information.