Windows Life-Cycle Policy
Published: October 15, 2002 | Updated: December 22, 2005
On October 15, 2002 Microsoft announced a new support life-cycle policy. This consistent and predictable policy is designed to standardize support guidelines across product lines and will cover most products currently available via retail purchase or volume licensing and future release products.
Product life-cycle policies provide advanced notification of planned changes in product availability and support. This information helps customers and partners with product planning and information technology decisions.
The links on this page provide access to specific information about Windows products.
Product Life-Cycle Information for:
Windows Desktop License Availability
Under the Support Lifecycle policy Windows desktop licenses are available for four years after general availability in all standard product distribution channels (e.g. direct OEM, System Builders, retail, and Volume Licensing programs via licenses or via downgrade rights). Licenses will continue to be available through downgrade rights available in Volume Licensing programs after end of general availability.
License Availability Roadmap
Windows Service Pack Roadmap
Microsoft continually works to improve its software. As part of this effort, we develop updates and fixes to recognized issues and release them for customers. On a regular basis, we combine many of these fixes into a single package and make the package available for installation. These packages are called Service Packs. Based on feedback from customers and partners Microsoft is committed to providing a 12 month roadmap of upcoming service packs and security rollup packages on the Windows Service Pack Roadmap Web page. Visit the Supported Service Pack list to find the support timelines for a particular product’s service pack.