Microsoft Director of Business & Sales Operations - Eric Ligman

Eric Ligman, Microsoft Director of Business & Sales Operations Blog

How to know when support ends or changes for your Microsoft product

There was just a question floating around about when Mainstream and Extended support phases for Microsoft products ended, based on the fact that three of our products (Windows XP, Office 2003, and Exchange Server 2003) all make this shift from Mainstream to Extended support next week on the 14th, and how would you know. I thought I would share with everyone here in the Community so you all know.

First, let’s start with what the differences are between Mainstream support and Extended support phases. Here is a quick chart to show you what is and is not included inside each of these phases:

image – Click image to view full size

So as you can see, for products moving from Mainstream to Extended support phases, three of the items that will change are the removal of:

  • Requests to change product design and features

  • Other non-security hotfixes (available only with purchase of Extended Hotfix Support Agreement)

  • Complimentary support (phone and online support options) included with your licenses, licensing program, and other no-charge support programs

So when does this switch take place for Microsoft products between Mainstream support, Extended support, and Self-help phases? As you can see below, for Consumer/Hardware/and Multimedia products, the shift is after 5 years directly from Mainstream to Self-help. For Business and Development software, the shift from Mainstream to Extended happens after 5 years and from Extended to Self-help after 10 years.

image – Click image to view full size

Wondering when those dates are for a specific product? No worries. We have them posted online for you to view and we even make them available a few different ways:

You can also see this information and more up on the Microsoft Support Lifecycle page as well.  Now you know where to find this information and when your products go through each phase.

Thank you and have a wonderful day,

Eric Ligman – Follow me on image image
Global Partner Experience Lead
Microsoft Worldwide Partner Group
This posting is provided “AS IS” with no warranties, and confers no rights

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