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Microsoft Tweaks Product Support Timing And Delivery

As part of its April update to its Microsoft Support Lifecycle Web site, Microsoft made a couple of adjustments to its security and overall product-support policies.

On the security front, Microsoft is moving more of its security fixes and updates under Microsoft Update. As explained on the company’s support site:

“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.”

In terms of overall support, Microsoft clarified its policies for “minor” product releases. In short, minor product releases will be supported under the same terms as the major product which precedes them. (In other words, Windows Server 2003 R2 will be supported for the same length of time as Windows Server 2003.)

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