The end of the Microsoft Support Lifecycle will now coincide with the release of Microsoft’s monthly security bulletin release cycle instead of preceding it.
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Microsoft says that the reason for the switch is to simplify its product-support lifecycle to provide increased predictability for its customers. Hitherto, support for products traditionally has ended at the end of a calendar quarter before the second Tuesday of the following month, when Microsoft issues security updates. Microsoft says that some customers have not been able to take advantage of potential fixes for products for which support has just ended.
Effective immediately, Microsoft is now matching the date the product-support lifecycle ends with the regular, monthly security update release cycle. "We changed the end of support dates to map to the monthly security update release cycle so our customers can take advantage of the latest security updates," says Ines Vargas, group manager for Microsoft Support Lifecycle Program. "By eliminating that 10-to-15-day gap, we’re making sure that our dates make sense to our customers – that they’re even more consistent and predictable."
The first product to be affected by the change was Microsoft Exchange Server 5.5 whose users were from 10 January able to take advantage of a new security update to address vulnerability in the server.