1/12/2006

Windows support program bent to fit

Filed under: — By Aviran Mordo @ 12:05 pm

Microsoft’s Windows maintenance program is in the spotlight as the company has admitted to bending its support rules over security while cutting support to users of Windows XP Home Edition early.

The company has said it will, in future, release security updates for products that would normally not receive updates as they’d exceed Microsoft’s stated support lifecycle.
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Microsoft said it is now matching the date that a product support cycle ends with its regular monthly security update release cycle, known as “Black Tuesday”.

The change comes four years after Microsoft standardized its Windows support policy, introducing three phases called “mainstream”, “extended” and “self help” that last five, five and up to eight years after a product’s introduction.

Mainstream support delivers free security and hot fixes, while extended support maintains security fixes but ends hot fixes and free support. After that, users are on their own and must search Microsoft’s knowledge base and web casts for answers.

Microsoft said the change provided “greater consistency and predictability for customers”.

Meanwhile, millions of consumers running Windows XP Home Edition will see an end to all support three-years ahead of those running Windows XP Professional despite both operating systems becoming generally available at the same time.

While Microsoft is pushing out mainstream support for Windows XP Home Edition to two years after the shipment of successor Windows Vista, due in the second half of 2006, Windows XP Home Edition will not receive extended support.

That potentially means an end to all support for Window XP Home Edition at the end of 2008, while Windows XP Professional edition should continue until the end of 2013.

Source: The Register

 

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