Ask the Microsoft Experts
Q: What is Microsoft’s policy for supporting service packs?
A: Customers can receive support for the current and immediately preceding service pack. The immediately preceding service pack is supported for up to 12 months after the current service pack releases, unless the product is retired during that time. This support policy permits customers to receive existing hotfixes, or request new hotfixes for the currently shipping service pack, the immediately preceding service pack, or both during the mainstream phase. This includes all Office suite products earlier than Microsoft Office XP. This policy took effect with most products beginning October 15, 2002. Previously released products will continue to receive support on only the most current service pack. As always, Microsoft strongly advises customers to install the latest service pack as soon as possible. Customers can check support for a product or service pack by checking the Locate Your Product Web site.
For more information regarding Microsoft product lifecycle support, you can also go to http://www.microsoft.com/lifecycle.