Microsoft announces adjustments to the end of support dates for current and future products. The new dates coincide with the monthly security bulletin release cycle.
In response to customer feedback, and to provide customers with better consistency around product expiration dates, Microsoft has announced an adjustment to the expiration dates for all current and future products. This adjustment, effective January 10, 2006, further simplifies the product support lifecycle and provides more predictability for customers. The following points summarize the changes:
Products will expire on the second Tuesday after the end of the quarter
Products will no longer change phases inconsistently during the month or at the end of a quarter. This timeline coincides with the release of the second Tuesday security update release cycle.
Security updates released on the same day a product expires will be supported for 30 days following the release
In the event Microsoft releases a security update on the same day that a product is scheduled to end its support lifecycle, support of the security update will continue for a minimum of 30 days.
The first product impacted by this change is Exchange 5.5. While it was scheduled to transition out of support, the release of a new security patch on January 10, 2006 allows customers with Exchange 5.5 to continue to help protect their product from a server vulnerability for the 30 days following the release.
Over the next three months, every Microsoft product will have its expiration date adjusted in accordance with these changes. Updated product support lifecycle dates will be posted at http://support.microsoft.com/lifecycle and featured regularly in future quarterly update bulletins.