Microsoft will notify customer leveraging its Cloud offerings at least one year in advance of introducing what the company refers to as disruptive changes to its Online Services. The detail comes from the new Support Lifecycle Policy that the company has associated with Microsoft Online Services.
With the advent of new OS such as Windows Azure and Office 365, the MSL team has focused on bringing the proven principles of predictable and consistent Support Lifecycle policies to OS provided via the cloud.
With the release of the new OSSL policies for Microsoft Business and Developer products, we're introducing a new concept called "disruptive change," that broadly refers to changes that require significant action whether in the form of administrator intervention, substantial changes to the user experience, data migration or required updates to client software.
A key aspect of the new OS policy is that Microsoft is committed to providing customers a minimum of 12 months of prior notification before implementing potentially disruptive changes that may result in a service interruption.
In this regard, security patches will be introduced as soon as they're baked in order to protect the Cloud assets of both Microsoft and its customers. This'll happen even if the security updates would qualify as disruptive changes but without the 12 months prior notification.
A final concern of the OSSL policy is regarding how an OS agreement may be terminated. Since customer data may reside in the cloud, Microsoft commits to providing 12 months prior notification before termination of a Business and Developer-oriented OS," Carrington added.
In addition, to better enable Microsoft customers in any renewal or migration activities, customer data will be preserved for a minimum of 30 days in order to ensure an orderly transition from the Online Service."