Feeds

Microsoft extends legacy products support

Forward looking statement

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

Microsoft is breathing more life into older versions of its products by offering businesses extended coverage for fixing security problems and bugs.

Large companies running old favorites Windows NT 4.0, Exchange Server 5.5 and Windows XP Service Pack 1 can expect at least three more years of support from Microsoft after it decided to update the Custom Support Agreement (CSA) program. There is even the suggestion support will go beyond three years.

Microsoft said it is updating CSA to help as customers migrate to newer versions of its products. This is the latest wrinkle to the Microsoft product lifecycle program introduced in 2002 and revised in 2004 to extend product support from seven to 10 years. Microsoft has also made more minor tweaks along the way such as January 2006 when it pledged to wait until regularly scheduled monthly security updates have been released to end support cycles rather than ending support at the close of a month or quarter.

CSA itself was introduced two years ago to extend Microsoft's existing product support lifecycle. Under this lifecycle, customers get free security updates and non-security hot fixes for five years after their product shipped and for a further two years after its successor has shipped under "mainstream support."

After that, customers only get security updates and pay for other updates for a further five years after the original product shipped under "extended support." After 10 years, you're on your own, as Microsoft provides internet-only support.

Windows NT 4.0 and Exchange 5.5, launched in 1996 and 1997, have already left mainstream support. Windows XP SP 1, which appeared in September 2002, is due to expire next month - thanks to the licensing intricacies associated with SPs.

Updates to Microsoft's support terms should come as little surprise, as big customers have proved notoriously slow to move to new versions of Microsoft's software. Gartner found in early 2005 that 61 per cent of US and 36 per cent of European companies had migrated to Windows XP SP 2, which shipped in September 2004. Microsoft has also had a hard time convincing users to adopt newer versions of Exchange Server.

The latest updates will see Microsoft proactively provide security hotfixes for "critical and important" vulnerabilities and let customers request non-security hotfixes for new bugs for an additional fee. CSA will be charged per device rather than use a flat fee.®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
Not appy with your Chromebook? Well now it can run Android apps
Google offers beta of tricky OS-inside-OS tech
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
NHS grows a NoSQL backbone and rips out its Oracle Spine
Open source? In the government? Ha ha! What, wait ...?
Google extends app refund window to two hours
You now have 120 minutes to finish that game instead of 15
Intel: Hey, enterprises, drop everything and DO HADOOP
Big Data analytics projected to run on more servers than any other app
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.