MPN Partner support N-1 policy for on-premises products

Applies to: Partner


Microsoft Partner Network members qualify for Core Technical Product support benefits based on their membership level. The N-1 support policy applies to support incidents created using the core benefits below.

Support benefit Membership level
Partner support Gold 20pack Gold competency
Partner support Silver 15pack Silver competency
Partner support MAPS 10pack Microsoft Action Pack subscription

The N-1 Partner support policy for on-premises products

MPN Partner support is for on-premises products, and they follow the N-1 support policy. The N-1 support policy enables only the newer on-premises products.

N-1 includes the current product (N) and the previous product version (N-1). Older (N-2) products and any product where Mainstream Support has ended, are not entitled for support incident creation.

Note: Product support is available from Microsoft, for the partner or customer, for products within the
Microsoft support lifecycle. Online they should select the “Buy Now” option and use Pay Per Incident or an alternative support offering to create a support incident.

Product summary list

The N-1 support policy applies to all on-premises products. For the products not listed below, please see the example below for more details. The information below will change if a new product or service pack is released, when the mainstream support end date* is reached (usually after 5 years), if support dates are changed by Microsoft or if the MPN policy is changed.

Product Entitled products current & previous Mainstream Support End Date*
Microsoft Windows Server 2019, 2016 Jan 11, 2022, for 2016
Microsoft Exchange Server 2019, 2016 Oct 13, 2020, for 2016
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016, 2015 Jan 14, 2020, for 2015
Microsoft SQL Server 2017, 2016 July 13, 2021, for 2016
Microsoft SharePoint Server 2019, 2016 July 13, 2021, for 2016
Microsoft Office 2019, 2016 Oct 13, 2020, for 2016
Microsoft Windows 10, 8 Jan 9, 2018, for 8

*See the product lifecycle


Q. Does the N-1 support policy impact any other partner support related benefits? 

A. No. The policy only applies to “Partner support Gold 20pack”, “Partner support Silver 15pack” and “Partner support MAPS 10pack”. Signature support, Advanced Support for Partners and Pay Per Incident are not impacted by the N-1 Support policy.

Q. Why don’t I see the support plan displayed, under the “Select a support plan” section, for old products ?

A. The Support for Business workflow will not display a support offering, under “Select a support plan”, when the product or version are invalid. Therefore, you will see the support offering eg “Partner support MAPS 10pack” when you “Select a support plan” for the current on-premises product (and the previous product version if within  mainstream support). If you select a product that is no longer supported due to the n-1 policy, the support offering eg “Partner support MAPS 10pack” will be displayed under the “Unavailable support plans” section; with the error message “Support plan cannot be used for support on the specified product (Code: 8)”.

Q. How can a partner obtain support for a product no longer entitled to support due to the N-1 support policy?

A. Product support is available from Microsoft, for the partner or customer, for products within the Microsoft support lifecycle. Select the “Buy Now” option online.

“Buy Now” option online

Q. I cannot see the option to Buy Now.

A. Due to a bug (KB 4490370), Pay Per Incident is not currently available for an AAD sign-in. Pease use an MSA Sign-in eg for Pay Per Incident

Q. What is Mainstream and Extended support?

A. Mainstream Support is the first phase of the product lifecycle. For Pay Per Incident, all support options are available, including non-security updates and program / no-charge support. Mainstream Support lasts for the first 5 years. MPN product support incidents and Internal Use Rights (IUR) can only be used during the mainstream support phase. For products in Extended support Paid support should be used.
Extended is the second Support phase following Mainstream Support. Non-security updates and programs support It may last for an additional 5 years. Paid support is available for mainstream and extended support.
KB14085 Microsoft Business, Developer and Desktop Operating Systems Policy

Q. Can I use MPN Partner support eg Partner support MAPS 10pack for Cloud products?

A. MPN Partner support is not entitled for Cloud support. Competency partners should use Signature Cloud Support for Cloud products. For Cloud Partner offerings see Compare partner support plans or for an offering similar to Pay Per Incident where you can pay online using a credit card see Azure Support Plans

Example: Applying the N-1 support policy for Microsoft Exchange Server

To identify the current and previous product versions, and the mainstream support end date, search the product life cycle

  • The current version is Exchange server 2019 (N) and the previous version is 2016 (N-1);
  • The current and previous product are both in mainstream support (usually 5 years from release date). Therefore, Exchange server 2019 and Exchange server 2016 are both entitled to support using Partner support incidents.

The older products such as Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 product are not entitled to support. Therefore, when the Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 product is selected support incidents cannot be created. See User experience using online submission below.

Product classification

Product version

Create a support incident

N - the current product Microsoft Exchange Server 2019 Yes
Mainstream support end date Jan 9, 2024
N-1 the previous product Microsoft Exchange Server 2016 Yes
Mainstream support end date Oct 13, 2020
N-2 old products Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 No*

*Partners or customers may use alternative support offerings or purchase support online for products within the Support lifecycle.

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