Lifecycle FAQ—Azure

Applies to: Azure

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NOTE: This FAQ was updated on April 5, 2017. 


The Microsoft Azure Lifecycle Policy is categorized as follows.

Azure Virtual Machines Lifecycle Policy 
The Microsoft software supported on Azure Virtual Machines (Infrastructure as a Service) as described here follows the existing Mainstream and Extended Support phase of the Business, Developer, and Desktop Operating System Policy outlined here.

Azure Services Lifecycle Policy
All other Azure services follow the Modern Lifecycle Policy outlined here.

Support for custom applications using open source on Azure
For all scenarios that are eligible for support through an Azure purchased support plan, Microsoft will provide commercially reasonable efforts to support custom applications and services built using open source software running on Azure as discussed in the Support Scope section of the Azure Support FAQ Website

Azure Cloud Services Lifecycle Policy
Microsoft Azure Cloud Services (Web and Worker Roles/Platform as a Service), allows developers to easily deploy and manage application services while delegating the management of underlying role instances and operating system to the Azure platform. The Lifecycle Policy details for the Guest OS provided by Azure Cloud Services is outlined below.

Guest OS family

"Guest OS family" refers to a version of the underlying Windows Server operating system that is used in Azure Cloud Services.


For more information about supported Guest OS families, please refer to this site.

Guest OS version (patch level)

"Guest OS Version" refers to the MSRC (Microsoft Security and Response Center) patch level for a given Guest OS family. Microsoft Azure regularly updates every Guest OS family with the latest security updates released by MSRC.


Microsoft Azure SDK policy

Microsoft Azure SDK is the core building block that helps developers author cloud services using the Microsoft Azure Service Runtime Programming model, debug using emulators on the local machine, and deploy to Microsoft Azure data centers in the cloud.


The Microsoft Azure SDK policy covers Microsoft Azure SDK authoring tools, REST APIs, client libraries, command-line utilities, compute & storage emulators, and Azure Tools for Microsoft Visual Studio.

Guest OS questions

For all implementation details of Azure OS retirement please refer to the Azure Guest OS Releases and SDK Compatibility Matrix MSDN page here.

Software development kit (SDK) questions

Important links and URLs

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.