Microsoft Outlines Lifecycle Support Policy
Microsoft to offer mainstream support for business and development software for five years from product's release.Microsoft Corp. on Tuesday released a new worldwide lifecycle support policy for almost all of its products currently available through retail purchase or volume licensing and for most of its future products. The policy is effective immediately. The new Support Lifecycle policy, which Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer alluded to in a broad customer e-mail sent out earlier this month, essentially provides mainstream support for business and development software for a minimum of five years from the date of a products general release. Users also have the option of buying an additional two years support, as long as they are on the latest or immediately preceding service pack, Microsoft said.
Mainstream support for most consumer, multimedia and hardware products will be for a minimum of five years from the time of the product release, while consumer products, which are upgraded annually, such as Money, Encarta, Streets & Trips and Picture It! will receive three years of mainstream support but will not be eligible for extended support.