Microsoft Partner Network members qualify for Core 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
Partner support core benefits follow the N-1 support policy, for on-premises products. 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.
Note: Cloud products are not impacted by this policy.
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||2016, 2012||Oct 9, 2018, for 2012|
|Microsoft Exchange Server||2016, 2013||Apr 10, 2018, for 2013|
|Microsoft Dynamics CRM||2016, 2015||Jan 14, 2020, for 2015|
|Microsoft SQL Server||2016, 2014||July 9, 2019, for 2014|
|Microsoft SharePoint Server||2016, 2013||Apr 10, 2018, for 2013|
|Microsoft Office||2016, 2013||Apr 10, 2018, for 2013|
|Microsoft Windows||10, 8||Jan 9, 2018, for 8|
*See the product lifecycle
Does the N-1 support policy impact any other partner support related benefits?
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.
The Online Assisted Support (OAS) workflow will not display the support offering when the entitlement is invalid.
Therefore, you will see the support offering eg “Partner support MAPS 10pack” for the current product (if within mainstream support). If you select a product that is no longer supported the support offering eg “Partner support MAPS 10pack” will not be displayed.
Product support is available from Microsoft, for the partner or customer, for products within the Microsoft support lifecycle. Select the “Buy Now” option online.
I cannot see the option to Buy Now?
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 Outlook.com for Pay Per Incident
What is Mainstream and Extended support?
Mainstream Support is the first phase of the product lifecycle. All support options are available, including non-security updates and program / no-charge support. It lasts for at least 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.
See KB14085 Microsoft Business, Developer and Desktop Operating Systems Policy
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 2016 (N) and the previous version is 2013 (N-1);
- The current and previous product are both in mainstream support (usually 5 years from release date). Therefore, Exchange server 2016 and Exchange server 2013 are both entitled to support using Partner support incidents.
The older products such as Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 product are not entitled to support. Therefore, when the Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 product is selected support incidents cannot be created. See User experience using online submission below.
Create a support incident
|N - the current product||Microsoft Exchange Server 2016||Yes |
Mainstream support end date Oct 13, 2020
|N-1 the previous product||Microsoft Exchange Server 2013||Yes |
Mainstream support end date Apr 10, 2018
|N-2 old products||Microsoft Exchange Server 2010||No*|
*Partners or customers may use alternative support offerings or purchase support online for products within the Support lifecycle.