Support Lifecycle Policy for Windows Azure Cloud

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. These policies exclude Windows Azure Virtual Machines (IaaS).

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.

For more information, please refer to the following resources:

  • Online Services Support Lifecycle Policy
  • Windows Azure Cloud Services Lifecycle Policy FAQ

Last Review : March 18, 2013