Developer Tools Family Product Support Lifecycle FAQ

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Microsoft Visual Studio

1. What is the lifecycle policy for Visual Studio?

Visual Studio follows the established lifecycle policy of 5 years Mainstream Support and 5 years Extended Support. Details are described here.  Online services that are offered as part of the Visual Studio suite of products will follow the established Online Services policy found here.

Servicing for the Visual Studio family of products and tools, starting with Visual Studio 2012, is primarily performed via a cumulative update mechanism called "VS Update." More details can be found on the Visual Studio Servicing website.

2. What lifecycle policy do external components follow that are offered within the Visual Studio suite?

For Visual Studio 2013 or for later versions, the external components are governed by a different lifecycle policy. Visual Studio includes a collection of compilers, languages, runtimes, environments, and other resources that enable development for many Microsoft platforms. As a convenience to our Visual Studio customers, Visual Studio may install certain Microsoft SDKs and other Microsoft components that target and support those Microsoft platforms. These components may be licensed and supported under their own terms and policies. The Microsoft platform components in the list posted on the Visual Studio website that may be included with Visual Studio 2013, depending on the specific edition of the Visual Studio 2013 software, are subject to their own support policies and timeframes.

3. What is the support lifecycle policy for Visual Studio 2012 Update 4:

VS 2012 Update 4 will remain under the same lifecycle policy as Visual Studio 2012 with support ending 1/10/2023. Visual Studio 2012 customers will have 12 months to move to Update 4 from VS 2012 RTM and previous VS 2012 updates after the General Availability of the Update 4 in order to remain supported. See the lifecycle website for the support dates for VS 2012 RTM and for VS 2012 Update 4.

4. Why are you requiring Visual Studio 2012 customers move to Visual Studio 2012 Update 4 one year after the General Availability?

With the establishment of Visual Studio quarterly releases, which deliver ongoing updates and enhancements, there will not be future Visual Studio Service Pack releases. Instead we are applying our Service Pack policy to Visual Studio 2012 Update 4 to ensure customers are kept up to date on current fixes and take advantage of the latest features. Historically, we have a similar support approach related to Visual Studio service packs; when a Visual Studio service pack was released, Microsoft provided customers 12 months of support for the prior service pack or original RTM version.

Microsoft Visual Basic

1. What lifecycle support policy does Visual Basic 6.0 follow?

Microsoft is committed to support existing Visual Basic 6.0 applications running on Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008 including R2, Windows 7, Windows Server 2012, and Windows 8.x. As detailed here, the core Visual Basic 6.0 runtime will be supported for the full lifetime of Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, and Windows 8 for serious regressions and critical security issues.

Visual Basic 6.0 is made up of these key deliverables:

  • Visual Basic 6.0 IDE [Integrated Development Environment] is no longer supported as of April 8, 2008.
  • Visual Basic 6.0 Runtime -- the base libraries and execution engine used to run VB6 applications.
  • Visual Basic 6.0 Runtime Extended Files – select ActiveX control OCX files, libraries, and tools shipping with the IDE media and as an online release.

Support for VB6 runtime and runtime extended running on Windows XP ends at the time Windows XP support ends on April 8, 2014.

Last Review : September 15, 2014