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Mon 31 May 2004 04:00 AM

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Microsoft goes the whole 10 years

Microsoft is extending support on its business and developer products to a minimum of 10 years, effective from tomorrow.

Microsoft is extending support on its business and developer products to a minimum of 10 years, effective from tomorrow.

While the company previously offered five years of mainstream support, plus a further two years extended support, that extended support will now last for at least five years, the company said. Microsoft has also committed to providing at least 10 years online self-help support for products.

The company announced the new support programme at TechEd, its annual conference for IT administrators, in San Diego, US, last week. “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,” said Andy Lees, vice president of server and tools marketing. “We have heard our customers’ requests and are quickly expanding and enhancing the policy to provide a minimum total of 10 years support for business and developer products.”

Microsoft found itself the target of massive criticism when it announced last year that it was to end paid-for support for Windows 98. Paid-for support for the OS was scheduled to end in January this year, however the company has now extended it to 2006.

While analyst firm Gartner welcomed the decision to extend product support, it warns that users should still look to Windows XP as new PCs are purchased. “Enterprises should understand that Windows XP is Microsoft’s current “favorite” and is likely to receive better support than older versions of the company’s OS,” it said in an advisory.

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