One of the things which surprises me often, when talking to customers is, that they do not know, when certain (key) products run out of support – and therefore no security updates will be shipped.

You should include the following dates in your plans:

  • Windows XP Home: Mainstream support ended 4/14/2009
  • Windows XP Professional: Extended support ends 4/8/2014 (if you did not yet plan to migrate to Windows 7, you should probably start)
  • Windows Vista Ultimate and Windows Vista Home: Mainstream support ends 4/10/2012
  • Windows Vista Enterprise: Extended support ends 4/11/2017
  • Windows NT Server 4.0: Support ended 12/31/2004 (I guess you know that)
  • Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition: Extended support ends 7/14/2015
  • Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise Edition: Extended support ends 7/14/2015

If you want to see the full lifecycle database, you will find it on our Lifecycle site.

This is the general policy:

Business and Developer products

Microsoft will offer a minimum of 10 years of support for Business and Developer products. Mainstream Support for Business and Developer products will be provided for 5 years or for 2 years after the successor product (N+1) is released, whichever is longer. Microsoft will also provide Extended Support for the 5 years following Mainstream support or for 2 years after the second successor product (N+2) is released, whichever is longer. Finally, most Business and Developer products will receive at least 10 years of online self-help support.

Consumer, Hardware, and Multimedia products

Microsoft will offer Mainstream Support for either a minimum of 5 years from the date of a product’s general availability, or for 2 years after the successor product (N+1) is released, whichever is longer. Extended Support is not offered for Consumer, Hardware, and Multimedia products. Products that release new versions annually, such as Microsoft Money, Microsoft Encarta, Microsoft Picture It!, and Microsoft Streets & Trips, will receive a minimum of 3 years of Mainstream Support from the product's date of availability. Most products will also receive at least 8 years of online self-help support. Microsoft Xbox games are currently not included in the Support Lifecycle policy.

Roger