Microsoft typically discontinues support for its server products according to a predetermined product lifecycle schedule.
The support lifecycle consists of several phases, including mainstream and extended support, before a product reaches its end of life. Here’s a general overview of these phases:
Mainstream Support: During the mainstream support phase, Microsoft provides regular updates, security patches, and bug fixes for the server product. This phase typically lasts for about five years from the product’s initial release.
Extended Support: After the mainstream support phase ends, the product enters the extended support phase. During this period, Microsoft continues to offer security updates and patches, but other support services, such as no-charge incident support or non-security hotfixes, may be limited or available at an additional cost. Extended support usually lasts for five more years.
End of Life (EOL): Once a server product reaches the end of the extended support phase, Microsoft no longer provides updates or patches for that product, except in exceptional circumstances (e.g., critical security vulnerabilities). The product is considered at its end of life, and organizations are strongly encouraged to migrate to a supported version or find an alternative solution.
It’s important to note that the specific support timelines can vary depending on the server product and version. Additionally, Microsoft may occasionally extend support for certain products if there is a significant customer demand or if the product is critical in infrastructure.
For accurate and up-to-date information on the support lifecycle of specific Microsoft server products, including the exact dates for mainstream support, extended support, and end of life, it is recommended to visit Microsoft’s official product lifecycle page or contact Microsoft’s support services directly.
Keep in mind that running a server product beyond its end of life can pose significant security risks, as it will no longer receive security updates and patches, making it more susceptible to vulnerabilities and cyberattacks. Therefore, it’s essential for organizations to plan their server infrastructure upgrades and migrations in line with Microsoft’s support lifecycle to maintain a secure and well-supported IT environment.
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