Fixed Lifecycle Policy

Applies to: Lifecycle

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The Fixed Lifecycle Policy applies to many products currently available through retail purchase or volume licensing and offers a minimum of:

  • 10 years of support (a minimum of five years Mainstream Support followed by five years Extended Support) at the supported service pack level for business, developer, and desktop operating system products. To be eligible for support, customers may be required to deploy the latest update. See the Lifecycle product search for specific details. Some products may offer less than 10 years of support. See this article for exceptions.
  • Five years of Mainstream Support at the supported service pack level for consumer and multimedia products.

Microsoft is committed to providing products with improved security. Although we strive to remove vulnerabilities during development, software vulnerabilities remain a fact today and we must be prepared to respond when they are discovered. Microsoft advises customers to install the latest product releases, security updates, and service packs to remain as secure as possible. For the latest information on security updates, please visit our TechNet Library. Older products may not meet today’s more demanding security requirements. Microsoft may be unable to provide security updates for older products.

The Fixed Lifecycle Policy does not apply to all products. To see the specific support and servicing start and end dates by applicable product, go to the lifecycle product search.

Lifecycle phases for products under the Fixed Lifecycle Policy

 Type of support Mainstream Support Extended Support Beyond End of Support 
Request to change product design and features Available Not available Not available
Security updates Available Available Available via Extended Security Update Program
Non-security updates Available Available1 via Unified Support Not available
Self-help support2  Available Available Available
Paid-support Available Available Available3 

1The Extended Hotfix Support (EHS) program offered via Unified Support is only available for a select group of products.
2Self-Help Online Support is available throughout a product's lifecycle and for a minimum of 12 months after the product reaches the end of its support. Microsoft online Knowledge Base articles, FAQs, troubleshooting tools, and other resources, are provided to help customers resolve common issues.
3Go here to learn more. Extended Security Update program required.

Mainstream Support
Mainstream Support is the first phase of the product lifecycle. At the supported service pack level, Mainstream Support for products and services includes*:
  • Incident support (no-charge incident support, paid incident support, support charged on an hourly basis, support for warranty claims)
  • Security update support
  • The ability to request non-security updates

NOTE: Incident support benefits included with license, licensing programs (such as Software Assurance or Visual Studio subscriptions) or other no-charge support programs are only available during the Mainstream Support phase.

*Enrollment in a maintenance program may be required to receive these benefits for certain products.
Extended Support
The Extended Support phase follows Mainstream Support. At the supported service pack level, Extended Support includes:
  • Paid support4
  • Security updates at no additional cost
  • Ability to request non-security fixes for select products, for eligible Unified Support customers.5
  • Microsoft will not accept requests for warranty support, design changes, or new features during the Extended Support phase.
  • Extended Support is not available for consumer, consumer hardware, or multimedia products.
  • Enrollment in a paid support program may be required to receive these benefits for certain products.
4 Limited complimentary support may be available (varies by product).
5 Microsoft Lifecycle policy permits the creation and broad distribution of certain non-security updates during the Extended Support phase. For example, it may be necessary to provide a non-security update that enables continued connectivity and servicing through the Automatic Update or Windows Server Update service.


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.