Microsoft’s “End of Support” Policy

Microsoft typically supports program releases for about five years, meaning that during that time, Microsoft will provide patches and fixes at no cost to the end user. These include security updates as well as other things. After the five years, called “end of support” or EOS, they will usually offer a limited time of extended support that covers security fixes only (though sometimes it is possible to pay for other types of patches, if needed).

After the extended support period, the company will no longer provide any sort of fixes or patches, free or paid. Sometimes users find workarounds, but there comes a time when it becomes impractical, at best, or, more often, downright risky to continue running the old programs that are no longer being supported.

Several major Microsoft software products will be reaching their EOS date on January 13, 2015. These include all forms of Windows 7 (although extended support will continue until January 14, 2020). Other products reaching EOS on January 13, 2015 are Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2, as well as Windows Storage Server 2008, Dynamics C5 2010, NAV 2009, and NAV 2009 R2.

Windows Server 2003 will reach the end of its extended support period on July 14 2015, at which point it will be necessary to upgrade or completely change the software. Microsoft warns that most Windows Servers take a little over half a year to migrate, so companies should begin soon making the switch.

Others reaching EOS include:

October 14, 2014:

  • Office 2010 SP1
  • SharePoint 2010 SP1
  • Forefront Unified Access Gateway 2010 SP3
  • Visual Studio 2012 Remote Tools
  • Visual Studio 2012 Test Professional
  • Visual Studio 2012 Express for Web, Windows 8, and Windows Desktop

September 14, 2014:

  • Windows Phone 7.8
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