20 years ago today on April 24, 2003, Microsoft made Windows Server 2003 generally available. It was basically the server version of Windows XP that launched about 18 months ago.
Why mention this minor milestone? Because, believe it or not, Windows Server 2003 is still being used by a large number of Windows-based PCs around the world. According to StatCounter’s latest numbers for March 2023, Windows Server 2003 is using 0.02 percent of all working Windows desktop PCs. This is the smallest percentage for a single Windows OS ever recorded by StatCounter.
Developed at Microsoft under the code name “Whistler Server”, Windows Server 2003 includes several new features. One of them was digging out an old-fashioned rescue disk. Instead, it used Automated System Recovery, which, as the name suggests, automates the task of creating a restore point. It was first included in Windows XP Professional. It was also the last version of Windows Server to work with processors without ACPI (Advanced Configuration and Power Interface) support.
Two service packs were released for Windows Server 2003, the first on March 30, 2005, and the second on March 13, 2007. In addition, Windows Server 2003 R2, which bundled the first service pack and some optional new features, was launched in December. 6, 2005.
While Microsoft officially ended support for Windows Server 2003 on July 14, 2015, the company announced an exception on May 13, 2017. It released a patch for the OS to address the exploit that was being used by the hackers behind the infamous “WannaCry”. “Ransomware Attack.