Microsoft is to extend mainstream support for Exchange 5.5 until 31 December 2004. The mainstream support period had been scheduled to draw to a close at the end of this year.
"Customers have been asking for some more time to migrate from 5.5 to 2003," said Missy Stern, an Exchange product manager. "We did this to give them the time and flexibility to migrate on their own schedule."
Stern said industry analyst reports show that between 40% and 60% of Exchange users are running Version 5.5, and the majority run it on Windows NT 4.0. Many users have delayed migrations because of the extensive planning associated with the required move to Active Directory, the directory used by both Exchange 2000 and the newly released Exchange 2003.
The mainstream support phase gives customers no-charge incident support, support for warranty claims and hot-fix support, as well as paid incident support and support charged on an hourly basis.
An extended support period, which includes paid and security hot-fix support, typically runs for two years following the end of the five-year mainstream support phase. But in the case of Exchange, the extended support phase is due to end 31 December 2005, as previously scheduled.
Carol Sliwa writes for Computerworld