Microsoft Lifecycle Policy FAQ Content provided by Microsoft Select Product Version All Products Back to the Microsoft Lifecycle Policy home page NOTE: This FAQ was updated on April 1, 2019 Show all What are the Microsoft Lifecycle Policies? What is the Lifecycle Policy for service packs? Are these policies applicable globally? Why were the lifecycle policies defined? How was the Lifecycle Policy developed? If I have multiple Microsoft products do they all share the same lifecycle timelines? What products does the Lifecycle Policy cover and when did it go into effect? How can customers and partners estimate the lifecycle for products and services? Is there a different Lifecycle Policy for consumers and businesses for the Windows operating system? What is the Lifecycle Policy for program add-ons? What is the Lifecycle Policy for tools? What is the Lifecycle Policy for products or companies that Microsoft acquires? What is the Lifecycle Policy for minor releases of major products? Definitions Show all What is a component of a Microsoft product? How do I know which product or platform a component is associated with? What is a program add-on? What is a tool? Security Show all What is Microsoft's policy on security updates? How long do you provide security updates for your products? Must I have the latest service pack installed to apply a security-related update or an update that is not security-related? Is Unified Support required for customers to receive security updates? Would Microsoft ever release non-security updates during Extended Support without Unified Support? What happens if Microsoft releases a security update the same day a product reaches the end of support? Support Show all What is the difference between Mainstream Support and Extended Support? Is the Lifecycle Start Date the first date I can obtain technical support for a product? Who can receive support in the Extended Support phase? How does the Lifecycle Policy work with Unified Support? I do not need non-security updates, I only need phone support during the Extended Support phase. Must I have Extended Hotfix Support? If I am running a Microsoft product that is currently supported under the Lifecycle Policy, but my operating system is no longer supported, can I still receive support? How is a component supported under Microsoft’s Lifecycle Policy? For business, developer, and desktop operating systems, will Microsoft offer support beyond Extended Support? After the Microsoft assisted and paid support offerings have ended, what are my options? How will the Lifecycle Policy affect telephone and web support options that are customized to meet the requirements of home users and home office customers? Miscellaneous Questions How long can I legally use Microsoft software after I have licensed it? Is the term of my software license affected by the Lifecycle Policy?The information on this page is subject to the Microsoft Policy Disclaimer and Change Notice. Return to this site periodically to review any such changes. Last Updated: 1 Apr 2019 Did this solve your problem? Yes No Tell us what we can do to improve the article Submit Thanks! Your feedback will help us improve the support experience.