On Monday morning, it looked as if Microsoft Corp. had done yet another about-face by extending NT 4.0 support past the rapidly approaching support-cut-off deadlines—despite repeated claims that it had no intentions of doing so.
But by Monday evening, Microsoft was working overtime to correct any misunderstandings caused by its vaguely worded press release about its plans for continuing to offer NT 4.0 fixes beyond the currently stated cut-off period.
Microsoft announced on Monday that it had cemented a deal with the BITS nonprofit banking consortium to continue to "provide financial institutions and other (NT 4.0) customers with security updates for an extended period during which they will migrate their systems to more recent versions of Windows."
But the Redmond, Wash., software vendor didnt specify how this would affect the support cut-off dates, nor whether the deal covered both NT 4.0 Workstation and Server.
By end of day Monday, the company attempted to clarify its NT 4.0 support plans by adding a statement to its original press release:
The statement reads: "The custom support details referenced in the BITS press release are available to all Microsoft customers and there is no change to what Microsoft has announced previously regarding Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 and Windows NT Server 4.0 support. The end dates for no-charge support remain the same as previously announced."
Company officials elaborated further. "Microsoft worked closely with BITS prior to the enhanced support lifecycle announcement at Tech Ed on May 25th and this release underscores their enthusiasm for the terms and conditions of the enhanced policy," said Peter Houston, senior director of Windows Servicing Strategy. "The custom support details referenced in the BITS press release are available to all Microsoft customers and there is no change to what Microsoft has announced previously regarding Microsoft NT 4 workstation and server support. The end dates for no-charge support remain the same as previously announced."
Microsoft was contemplating issuing a statement on Tuesday to further clarify its NT 4.0 support plans, a spokesman said.
Microsoft is set to phase out support for both NT 4.0 Workstation and Server in the coming months.
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