Microsoft Revamps Product Lifecycle Support

SAN DIEGO: Microsoft plans to expand its
enterprise product support lifecycle policy by a minimum of three
years, a move that buys time for the software giant to deal with the
unpredictable nature of shipping product upgrades.

During a keynote presentation at the TechEd conference Tuesday, Andrew Lees, Microsoft’s vice president of Server Tools Marketing, announced the new policy would provide customers with a minimum of 10 years of mainstream support, up from seven years.

The policy is for all of its business and developer software and goes into effect on June 1st.

The previous plan called for Microsoft to offer five years of
mainstream support and two years of extended support but, the
unpredictable nature of shipment dates for new products led to a
situation where customers complained that product support expired
before upgrades were ready.

Under the updated policy, the mainstream support phase remains at
five years but Microsoft has tacked on three more years to the
extended support phase, according Peter Houston, Microsoft’s senior director of service strategy.

He said the new cycle effectively offers a minimum of ten years of
product support that includes security updates and paid incident
support. It affects existing business product lines that include
Windows XP, Microsoft Office as well as future products.

The new policy does not affect consumer, hardware, multimedia or
Microsoft Business Solutions products.

“Customers requested support that is predictable, expanded and
mirrors their changing needs. With this announcement, Microsoft
delivers the predictable support customers need to successfully do
more with less.”

Information describing the policy changes has been posted online and the
company expects to be able to provide specific product lists with
appropriate deadlines once the policy takes effect on June 1.

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