Microsoft Adjusts Software Support Cycle

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The end of the Microsoft Support Lifecycle will change to coincide with the “Patch Tuesday” security bulletin release cycle instead of coming before. Exchange Server 5.5 will be the first to benefit from this.

When Microsoft standardized the Microsoft Support Lifecycle policy for its products in 2002, the goal was greater consistency and predictability for customers. If customers knew when support for a given product would end, the reasoning went, they could better plan their deployment and support needs and improve efficiency as a result.

Now Microsoft is further simplifying its product-support lifecycle in a move the company says will provide even more predictability for customers. The reason? Support for products traditionally has ended at the end of a calendar quarter – Dec. 31, March 31, June 30 or Sept. 30, mere days before the second Tuesday of the following month, when Microsoft issues security updates. For some customers, that timing has meant they have not been able to take advantage of potential fixes for products for which support has just ended.

“We changed the end of support dates to map to the monthly security update release cycle so our customers can take advantage of the latest security updates,” says Ines Vargas, group manager for Microsoft Support Lifecycle Program. “By eliminating that 10-to-15-day gap, we’re making sure that our dates make sense to our customers – that they’re even more consistent and predictable.”

John Stith is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

Microsoft Adjusts Software Support Cycle
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