Microsoft Restructures Support Program for Legacy Products to Provide Greater Flexibility in Product Migrations

Editors’ Update – Oct. 27, 2006
– The name of the program described in this press release has been corrected to Custom Support program, rather than Custom Support Agreement program.

REDMOND, Wash. — Aug. 28, 2006 — Microsoft Corp. today announced a new Custom Support (CS) program for legacy products in an effort to help customers better manage their IT environments and give them more options when making product migration decisions — including the speed at which they migrate to new versions of products.

After a six-month process of gathering customer feedback, conducting customer focus groups and evaluating the program, Microsoft Services has restructured the CS program to provide customers with the option of extending Custom Support coverage while they migrate to newer products.

“While the best choice for customers is to move forward to newer products before mainstream support expires, some large organizations and enterprise companies face challenges such as regulatory compliance restrictions and financial constraints, which make migration and porting of applications more difficult,” said Al Gillen, research vice president, system software at IDC. “Microsoft’s expansion of Premier Support with Custom Support options offers these customers more flexibility, predictability and control over their IT environments.”

Customers will be able to migrate their systems based on their specific situation, taking into consideration the CS costs and Microsoft’s Support Lifecycle policy timeline. The program provides customers with control over how quickly they upgrade from one product version to another given budgetary and/or IT requirements. In addition to providing customers with more autonomy, the new model also streamlines pricing so that customers pay only for what they need on a per-device basis. Additional benefits to customers include, but are not limited to, these:

  • Problem resolution for the legacy product

  • Proactive distribution of security hotfixes for vulnerabilities labeled as critical and important by the Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC)

  • Access to existing database of security and nonsecurity hotfixes produced during the Mainstream Support phase

  • Ability to request nonsecurity hotfixes for new bugs (for an additional fee)

About the Microsoft Support Lifecycle Policy

Customers demand a clear and consistent support road map that aligns with their needs, and Microsoft is committed to creating predictable relationships with customers. The Microsoft® Support Lifecycle policy is tailored to meet customer needs for predictability and planning throughout the life of a product. It includes the following support phases:

  • Mainstream Support includes all the support options and programs that customers receive today, such as no-charge incident support, paid incident support, support charged on an hourly basis, support for warranty claims and hotfix support. After Mainstream Support ends, Extended Support will be offered for business and developer software.

  • Extended Support includes all paid support options, as well as security-related hotfix support, which is provided at no charge. Non-security-related hotfix support requires a separate Extended Hotfix Support contract to be purchased within 90 days after Mainstream Support ends. Microsoft will not accept requests for warranty support, design changes or new features during the Extended Support phase.

Business and developer products customers have the option of entering into a Custom Support program that provides support for legacy products during a product migration. Custom Support can be granted to customers who require support for longer than the 10-year minimum. Customers should contact their Microsoft account team to discuss their options for custom support. Custom Support is part of the Premier Support offering and requires a Premier Support agreement to be in place.

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