Microsoft Support Lifecycle Update – March 2008


Welcome to the latest edition of the Microsoft Support Lifecycle Update.  This posting regarding Microsoft Support Lifecycle information is being sent to keep you better informed which will increase your planning efforts for many support/maintenance related projects.


All the information contained in this posting is available from various locations on but I am consolidating it here to ease of review.  Since the website is going to be more up-to-date than this static post, the website information will always take precedence.


Lifecycle Website:


Lifecycle Top-5 Things You Should Know:


1.     MSL Policy provides a minimum of five years of Mainstream and five years of Extended Support

2.     Extended Support phase includes security updates at no additional cost (on latest service pack) and fee-based incident support

3.     Extended Support phase includes the option of Extended Hotfix Support (EHS)

4.     After the five-year Extended Support phase, products are not supported, but Custom Support may be available

5.     Customers are encouraged to stay current on service packs, which minimizes their risk to security exploits or loss of support.  


Upcoming Critical Product Transitions

Transitioning from Mainstream Support to Extended Support:

·         SQL Server 2000 - April 8, 2008

·         Exchange Server 2003 - April 14, 2009

·         Windows XP Professional (all versions) - April 14, 2009

·         Windows XP Professional x64 - April 14, 2009


Transitioning to Non-Support:

·         Visual Basic 6.0 (Enterprise and Standard Edition) - April 8, 2008


Transitioning from Mainstream Support to Non-Support:

·         Great Plains 8.0 - October 13, 2009*

·         Microsoft Java Virtual Machine (MSJVM) Migration Tools - April 14, 2009


Mainstream Support Extended

·         Content Management Server 2002 - April 14, 2009


Service Packs going out of support:

·         SQL Server 2005 SP1 - April 8, 2008

·         Systems Management Server 2003 SP2 - July 8, 2008

·         Office System 2003 Service Pack 2 - October 14, 2008


Other Announcements and Information


*NEW! Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2003 R2 – Mainstream Support Ends July 13, 2010; Extended Support Ends July 14, 2015
Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2003 R2 will transition from Mainstream Support to Extended Support on July 13, 2010. Extended Support for both will end on July 14, 2015. This date was announced because the follow-on product, Windows Server 2008, released to manufacturing (RTM) on February 4, 2008.  This transition timeline is in line with the Support Lifecycle policy, which states that Mainstream Support for Business and Developer products will be provided for either five years or for two years after the successor product (N+1) is released, whichever is longer.


*NEW! Update Available for Extended Hotfix Support (EHS)for Daylight Saving Time (DST)
With the spring time change near, it is important for customers to be aware that their existing EHS DST contracts may be expiring. Customers who wish to purchase the 2008 EHS DST can do so through their normal hotfix fulfillment process.   New EHS DST contracts signed on or after January 1, 2008 will end on December 31 of the year the service contract was signed. For example, if a customer enters into an EHS DST Agreement on March 15, 2008, the end date for the contract will be December 31, 2008. If a customer enters into an EHS DST Agreement on January 1, 2009, the contract will end December 31, 2009.


Customers who have a current Custom Support agreement must use the hotfix request process to request DST updates for that product. They must pay the appropriate “per hotfix fee” for the DST hotfix for each product that has a Custom Support Agreement.


Note: DST Update Events follow normal and existing support policies and procedures. Incident-based support will be handled according to the normal support guidelines.  Customers who do not have Premier Support can enroll in EHS for DST by contacting Microsoft Customer Service.  More details are available here:


*NEW! Windows Messenger 5.1 Mainstream Support Ends on January 13, 2009
Windows Messenger 5.1 is considered a component of Live Communications Server 2003. As such, Windows Messenger 5.1 will transition from Mainstream Support to Extended Support on January 13, 2009, at the same time as Live Communications Server 2003. Windows Messenger 5.1 is covered by the same Extended Hotfix Support Agreement as that for Live Communications Server 2003.


This announcement is in line with the Lifecycle policy that states components are supported with the lifecycle of the product or service pack they were shipped with.


To access the full announcement go to:


Product Family

Example Products

12 Months

24 Months


Windows XP Professional
Windows Server 2003
Vista Home Basic
Windows 2000 Professional Edition




Office 2007
Office Professional Edition 2003
Office Outlook 2003
Office Small Business 2007




Biztalk Server 2006 Standard Edition
Exchange Server 2007 Enterprise Edition
System Center Operations Manager 2007
Office SharePoint Server 2007



Developer Tools

Visual Basic .NET 2003 Standard Edition
Visual Basic 6.0 Enterprise Edition
Visual Studio 2005 Standard Edition



Business Solutions

CRM 3.0 Professional
Dynamics AX
Dynamics SL
Dynamics NAV 5
Dynamics GP 10



Consumer / Hardware / Multimedia / Games

Age of Empires III
Flight Simulator
Pocket Streets 2002
Natural Keyboard Elite




Systems Management Server 2003 and 2003 R2 Support Date Extended
Systems Management Server (SMS) 2003 and Systems Management Server 2003 R2 will transition from Mainstream Support to Extended Support on January 12, 2010. Extended Support will now end on January 13, 2015. Both the Mainstream and Extended Support dates were extended once the follow-on product, System Center Configuration Manager 2007, was released to manufacturers.

This announcement is in line with the Lifecycle policy that states a product will remain in Mainstream Support for two years after the follow-on release.



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