Windows Embedded Family Product Support Lifecycle FAQ
1. How is this offering different from the Windows Embedded extended hotfix program that was announced in March 2002?
Microsoft believes that the new comprehensive Support Lifecycle policy for all Windows products provides even more benefits to Windows Embedded customers. Specifically, the Microsoft Lifecycle policy update of June 1, 2004, provides support for a minimum of 10 years after a product’s general availability date. Companies can now request no-charge hotfixes and receive traditional support for the first 5 years (as compared to 4 years in the prior program). After the mainstream support period, companies can receive traditional paid support and security update support for a minimum of 5 years of extended support. This is a total combined time of 10 years. Customers who want to request hotfixes that are not security-related must sign up for an extended hotfix support agreement within 90 days of the end of mainstream support for a product.
2. Can I install and ship on my devices a hotfix that was requested during the extended support period?
Yes. All embedded hotfixes are considered distributable and are available to be shipped on embedded devices.
Note that there is an associated fee for hotfixes that are not security-related but that are requested and provided during the extended support period.
3. Is any support available after the extended support period?
Many free and non-Microsoft support options are available for Windows Embedded products. Specifically, these options includeWindows CE Shared Source, Windows Embedded newsgroups, online chats with Windows Embedded experts, and services that are provided by Windows Embedded partners. These options will continue for a product after the extended period has expired.