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Microsoft Hosted Solutions Lifecycle Policy

Hosted Exchange Solutions and Microsoft’s Lifecycle Policy

Microsoft has shipped several Hosted Exchange Solutions since the year 2000 and we continue to invest in associated updates, upgrades, components, tools, and support in accordance with the Microsoft Support Lifecycle policy. All Hosted Exchange Solutions are made up of individual Microsoft products, such as Microsoft Windows Server, Microsoft Exchange Server, and Microsoft SQL Server. As such, support for Hosted Exchange Solutions is provided at the product level and follows the lifecycle of each individual product.

For example, the Microsoft Solution for Hosted Messaging and Collaboration (HMC) version 3.0 includes core products such as SQL Server 2000, Windows 2000 Server, and Exchange Server 2000, which are no longer supported by Microsoft. For a list of past and present HMC products, see Microsoft Hosted Solutions Version History.

In addition, many service packs for Hosted Messaging and Collaboration 3.0 core products are no longer supported. See Lifecycle Supported Service Packs for more information.

If you or your service provider are using a Hosted Exchange Solution that includes a Microsoft product that has moved out of Microsoft’s mainstream support phase or extended support phase, we recommend that you contact Microsoft Consulting Services or a systems integrator. They may be able to help you upgrade to product(s) that are still in the mainstream support phase, such as Hosted Messaging and Collaboration version 4.0, which was released on 4/16/2007.

For a list of Microsoft partners who can help you with upgrading your current solution, see Hosted Messaging and Collaboration partners.

Mainstream and Extended Support Phases

Mainstream Support Phase

Mainstream Support for business and developer products is provided for five years or for two years after the successor product (N+1) is released, whichever is longer. For example, mainstream support for Microsoft Windows Server 2003 will not end until at least 2 years after Windows Server 2008 is generally available. Similarly, Exchange Server 2003 recently had its mainstream support dates shifted to April 14, 2009, based on the actual release date of Exchange Server 2007.

Extended Support Phase

Extended support for business and developer products is provided for the five years following mainstream support or for two years after the second successor product (N+2) is released, whichever is longer. In the extended support phase, paid support options are available (free incident support/warranty support are no longer available).

In this phase, we no longer accept requests for non-security hotfixes or Design Change Requests; however, security updates will be provided at no charge. Newly developed non-security hotfixes are provided only through Extended Hotfix Support . Eligible customers will generally be required to enroll in Extended Hot-fix Support within 90 calendar days after the product enters the extended support phase and requires a registration fee and a pay per-hot-fix fee. For more information about Extended Hotfix Support, contact a Microsoft Support representative.

For both mainstream support and extended support phases, customers must use the current supported service pack for the product associated with the request. Specific descriptions of mainstream and extended support policies can be found on the Microsoft Support Lifecycle Web site.