|The Microsoft Support Lifecycle (MSL) policy provides ongoing, predictable information regarding the support lifecycle of Microsoft products. For more information on these new policies and applicable Frequently Asked Questions, please visit the MSL web site http://support.microsoft.com/lifecycle.|
|Spotlight: Announcing the New Windows Azure Cloud Services Support Lifecycle Policy|
|Microsoft is pleased to announce the new Windows Azure Support Lifecycle Policy, in effect starting March 2013. Windows Azure Cloud Services (Web and Worker Roles), allows developers to easily deploy and manage application services while delegating the management of underlying Role Instances and Operating System to the Windows Azure Platform.|
The following summarizes the Support Lifecycle Policy for each primary area of Windows Azure. Please follow the links for more detailed information on the current versions supported and subsequent retirement dates.
|Guest OS Family Policy: Windows Azure will support no fewer than the latest two Guest OS Families for deploying new Cloud Services. Microsoft will provide notification 12 months before retiring a Guest OS Family in order to facilitate a smooth transition to a supported Guest OS Family.|
|Guest OS Family refers to a version of underlying Windows Server Operating System that is used in Windows Azure Cloud Services.|
|Guest OS Version (Patch Level) Policy: Windows Azure will support only the latest Guest OS Version for each OS Family. Customers on the automatic update option always receive the latest Guest OS Version as it is rolled out. For customers on the manual update option, Microsoft will provide a 60 day grace period before customers must adopt the latest Guest OS Version in order to continue to use the Cloud Service under the terms of the Windows Azure SLA.|
|Guest OS Family Version (Patch Level) refers to the MSRC (Microsoft Security and Response Center) patch level for a given Guest OS Family. Windows Azure regularly updates every Guest OS family with the latest Security Updates released by MSRC.|
|Windows Azure SDK Policy:Windows Azure Cloud Services will support no fewer than the latest two SDK versions for deploying new Cloud Services. Microsoft will provide notification 12 months before retiring a SDK in order to smooth the transition to a supported version.|
|Windows Azure Software Development Kit (SDK) is the core building block that helps developers author Cloud Services using Windows Azure Service Runtime Programming model, debug using emulators on the local machine, and deploy to Windows Azure data centers in the cloud.|
|Policy Updates: Preparing for the End of Windows XP and Office 2003 Support|
|Support for Windows XP SP3 and Office 2003 ends on April 8th, 2014. Are you ready? After support ends, there will be no new security updates, non-security hotfixes, free or paid assisted support options, or online technical content updates.|
If you continue to run Windows XP SP3 and Office 2003 in your environment after April 8, 2014, you are exposing your company to potential security risks, as unsupported and unpatched environments are vulnerable to security threats. Further, independent software vendors (ISVs) and hardware manufacturers are less likely to support new versions of applications on Windows XP as we near the retirement date.
For many, migration efforts are well underway to get current. For those that require additional assistance, Microsoft offers in-depth technical resources, tools, and expert guidance to ease the deployment process. To learn more about migration and deployment programs, and to explore solutions if your current migration plans extend beyond April 8th 2014, please contact your Microsoft Support Professional. We are dedicated to helping you remain secure and are here to assist you every step of the way.
Visit the Windows XP SP3 and Office 2003 end of support site for more information on resources available to help with your migration.
For additional insights on the security risks of running on older operating systems, see the Microsoft Security Blog on Operating System Infection Rates.
|Products Reaching End of Support|
|The following list represents some of the products reaching end of support in the next 6 months. For a comprehensive list of Microsoft products and their lifecycle policy timelines, please search the Support Lifecycle Product Database.|
| Product|| End Date|
| SQL Server 2000 SP4|| April 9, 2013|
| Windows Server Amp Web Server 2008 R2|| April 9, 2013|
| Windows 7 SP0*|| April 9, 2013|
| Visual FoxPro 8.0 Professional Edition|| April 9, 2013|
| Commerce Server 2002|| July 9, 2013|
| Dynamics SL7 SP3|| July 9, 2013|
| SharePoint Services 2.0|| July 9, 2013|
| Visual J# .NET 1.1 Redistribution Package|| July 9, 2013|
| Windows Automotive 4.2|| July 9, 2013|
| Windows CE .NET 4.2|| July 9, 2013|
* After April 9, 2013, no Security Updates will be issued for Windows 7 RTM. To remain secure, and continue getting Security Updates, customers are encouraged to upgrade to Windows 7 SP1.