Microsoft provides added clarification around Security Update Download process
The Microsoft Support Lifecycle policy standardizes Microsoft product support policies for Business and Developer products, and for Consumer, Hardware, Multimedia, and Microsoft Dynamics (formerly Microsoft Business Solutions) products. The Support Lifecycle policy was originally announced on October 15, 2002, with revisions to the policy in the summer of 2004. Microsoft continues to provide clarification around support policies to make them more transparent and predictable for customers and has recently worked to better define the Security Update Download process.
The Security Update Download process previously provided security updates through Windows Update during the Mainstream Support phase (five years), and the first two years of Extended Support for Business and Developer products. Because Extended Support was expanded to include five years of support, during the final three years of Extended Support, security updates were only available from the Microsoft Download Center, instead of through Windows Update.
With the recent introduction of Microsoft Update, it is now possible for Microsoft to modify the Extended Support phase to include security updates via Microsoft Update for the full length of Extended Support. For customers, this results in the availability of all security downloads for products in Extended Support from Microsoft Update for at least an additional three years. Due to technical limitations in Microsoft Office 2000, it will remain an exception to the updated process and updates will be provided through the Microsoft Download Center for the remainder of its Support Lifecycle.
This is not a change in the Microsoft Lifecycle Policy as we continue to provide security updates during the Extended Support phase for Business and Developer products. We also continue to provide security updates throughout the Mainstream Support phase for Business and Developer products, and for Consumer, Hardware, Multimedia, and Microsoft Dynamics products.
The Microsoft Support Lifecycle policy provides transparent, predictable coverage of Microsoft products and continues to set the standard for product support policies industry-wide. Details of our product support lifecycle are available at http://support.microsoft.com/lifecycle.