Microsoft Support Lifecycle Update – April 2007

Lifecycle Website:


Lifecycle Top-5 Things You Should Know:


1.       MSL Policy provides a minimum of five years of Mainstream and five years of Extended Support

2.       Extended Support phase includes security updates at no additional cost (on latest service pack) and fee-based incident support

3.       Extended Support phase includes the option of Extended Hotfix Support (EHS)

4.       After the five-year Extended Support phase, products are not supported, but Custom Support may be available

5.       Customers are encouraged to stay current on service packs, which minimizes their risk to security exploits or loss of support.  


NOTE:  “Extended support is not offered for Consumer, Hardware, Multimedia, and Microsoft Dynamics products.”


Upcoming Critical Product Transitions

Transitioning from Mainstream Support to Extended Support

·         Visual Studio .NET 2002 – July 10, 2007


Transitioning to Non-Support

·         Exchange Server 2003 SP1 – January 9, 2007

·         Windows Server 2003 SP0 (RTM) – April 10, 2007

·         Windows XP Embedded SP1 – April 10, 2007

·         SUS 1.0 and SUS 1.0 SP1 – July 10, 2007

·         SQL Server 2000 SP3a – July 10, 2007


Transitioning from Mainstream Support to Non-Support

·         Great Plains 7.5 – January 9, 2007

·         Great Plains 8.0 and 8.0 Standard – October 9, 2007


Support Extended

·         Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2003 R2 – Mainstream Support Extension

·         Exchange Server 2003 SP1 – extended until January 8, 2008

·         Exchange Server 2003 – April 14, 2009

·         Windows XP – April 14, 2009


Other Announcments and Information


Major/Minor Product Support Policy

In the past, Microsoft has supported products in the same product family by using the same support timeline.  In the majority of the cases, the support timeline has not been an issue, as products in the same family have been released around the same time. However, when minor products have been released at a later date, customers have experienced confusion in determining the support end date.   Microsoft is clarifying the policy around the release of these minor products today. 


Moving forward, Microsoft products will be classified as either major or minor products.  Minor products will take on the support timeline of the major product, while major products will always restart the Microsoft Support Lifecycle clock.  Microsoft will continue to publish the support timeline of all products on the external site      


The illustration below depicts the Support Lifecycle of a major product (Windows Server 2003) and a minor product (Windows Server 2003 R2) and details the minor product following the same support timeline as the major product. While Windows Server 2003 R2 was released over a year after Windows Server 2003, as a minor product it follows the same support lifecycle as the main release.



Security Update Download Process

Under the Security Update Download process, Microsoft previously provided security updates for Business and Developer products via Microsoft Update during the five years of the Mainstream Support phase, and the first two years of Extended Support.   The remaining three years of Extended Support required customers to obtain the security updates from the Microsoft Download Center rather than via Microsoft Update.


With the clarification to the Security Update Download process, the Extended Support phase has been modified to include Microsoft Security Updates via Microsoft Update for the full five years of Extended Support. Due to technical limitations in Microsoft Office 2000, updates for customers will not be available via Microsoft Update, which will remain an exception to this updated policy.


Support for Internet Explorer 6 continues following the release of Internet Explorer 7

With the debut of Windows Internet Explorer 7, Microsoft wants to make sure that you understand that support for Internet Explorer 6 will continue, based on the Microsoft Support Lifecycle policy.


Under the Microsoft Support Lifecycle, Internet Explorer is supported as a component of the product with which it shipped. The support timelines for Internet Explorer will be inherited from the shipping product and its service packs. This means:

·         Versions of Internet Explorer that shipped as a part of the operating system will be supported with the support lifecycle of the operating system.

·         Updates to Internet Explorer that are shipped as a part of the operating system service packs will be supported as part of that service pack. Customers must upgrade to a supported operating system service pack to continue to receive support for Internet Explorer.


There will be no change to how Internet Explorer 6 is supported. The following operating systems have Internet Explorer 6 installed and will follow the lifecycle of the operating system: Windows XP Service Pack 2, Windows 2000 Service Pack 4, Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1.


Versions of Internet Explorer 6 that shipped as a part of the operating system or its associated service packs will continue to follow the support lifecycle of the operating system. Any updates to Internet Explorer 6 that are shipped as a part of the operating system service packs will be supported as a part of the service pack. Customers must upgrade to a supported operating system service pack to continue to receive support for Internet Explorer.


Details about Internet Explorer can be found at The Microsoft Support Lifecycle Policy continues to provide five years of Mainstream Support and five years of Extended Support for Business-Developer products, whereas Consumer products receive five years of Mainstream Support.


SQL Server 2000 Desktop Engine (MSDE) Users Encouraged to Upgrade to SQL Express

Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Desktop Engine (MSDE) will not be supported on Windows Vista. Microsoft recommends that all customer migrate their MSDE applications to SQL Server 2005 Express Edition (SQL Express) at the earliest opportunity. Technical guidance and migration resources are available to help make this transition and SQL Express is free to download, deploy, and redistribute.


As the plan of record, MSDE Mainstream Support (on supported Operating Systems released before Windows Vista) will continue until April 8, 2008 (extended support until April 8, 2013). Additional information can be obtained at MSDE Mainstream and Extended Support Retirement Dates.  




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