Microsoft Expands Commitment to Customer Satisfaction With Enhanced Support Life-Cycle Policy for Business and Developer Products

SAN DIEGO, May 25, 2004 — Today at Microsoft®
TechEd 2004, Microsoft Corporate Vice President of Server and Tools Marketing Andrew Lees announced to attendees the June 1 launch of an expanded and enhanced product support life-cycle policy. The updated policy will provide customers with a minimum total of 10 years of mainstream and extended support for business and developer products. In addition to the expanded time frame, the updated policy provides customers with increased support for IT infrastructure security assistance. Customers requested support from Microsoft that is predictable, expanded and mirrors their changing needs for IT infrastructure management. With this announcement, Microsoft delivers the predictable support customers need to successfully do more with less.

Listening to Customers: Expanded and Enhanced Customer Support

Clear and predictable product support road maps are essential for customers to effectively plan implementations of new technology, predict costs, justify purchases to management and budget for future technology replacements. In addition, advancements in the technology industry have elevated the need for expanded and flexible support to meet product migration timelines and directly address security needs. The updated Microsoft support life cycle directly addresses these needs while trying to minimize the likelihood of future life-cycle adjustments, thereby reinforcing the company’s commitment to build predictable relationships with customers.

“Both the original and updated Microsoft support life-cycle policy were the result of the company’s dedication to continually listening and acting on customer needs,” Lees said. “We have heard our customers’ requests and are quickly expanding and enhancing the policy to provide a minimum total of 10 years of support for business and developer products.”

Previously, Microsoft Corp. offered five years of mainstream support and two years of extended support for business and developer products. The updated policy provides customers with five years of mainstream support after the date of general availability or two years after the successor product ships, whichever is longer. Microsoft also will provide extended support for five years after mainstream support ends or two years after the second successor product ships, whichever is longer. The policy now provides customers with a minimum total of 10 years of product support, including security updates and paid incident support, as well as increased flexibility and peace of mind about the level of support provided throughout the life cycle of the product and during subsequent product release migrations.

Previous Policy:

Mainstream support phase: 5 years

Extended support phase: 2 years

Online self-help support: 8 years or more

Updated Policy:

Mainstream support phase: 5 years

Extended support phase: 5 years

Online self-help support: 10 years or more

The updated support life-cycle policy primarily affects business and developer products currently in the mainstream support phase as well as future products; consumer, hardware, multimedia and Microsoft Business Solutions products are not affected by the updated policy. Business and developer products currently in the extended support phase are affected on a per-product basis that takes into account product road maps, customer migration needs, and industry standards and requirements. Detailed information regarding how the updated support policy specifically affects individual Microsoft products can be found at the Microsoft support life-cycle policy Web site, http://www.microsoft.com/lifecycle/ .

Committed to Customer Support: Building a Predictable Future

While developing and fine-tuning the Microsoft support life-cycle policy on an ongoing basis, Microsoft spent time with customers, partners and key industry analysts to discuss their requirements for product support. Microsoft sought to adapt its support policies in ways that would greatly benefit customers as their needs changed.

“By updating the support life-cycle policy, Microsoft is delivering the support that customers need to help better manage the entire IT life cycle,” said Lori Moore, corporate vice president of Product Support Services (PSS) at Microsoft. “With this announcement, we are strengthening relationships with customers as a predictable business partner by enhancing and expanding a clear support life-cycle policy. This will further help our customers to do more within their IT organization successfully.”

Microsoft: An Industry Leader in Product Support Services

In October 2002, Microsoft introduced the first version of its product support life-cycle policy, which was positively received by customers. The introduction of the 2002 policy positioned Microsoft as an IT industry leader with a comprehensive road map for customers outlining support timelines for all its products. The updated 2004 support life-cycle policy further solidifies Microsoft’s position as an industry leader in innovative and truly comprehensive software product support. The minimum total of 10 years of product support for business and developer products offered under the updated 2004 policy represents an industry first.

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