The Microsoft Support Lifecycle (MSL) policy standardizes Microsoft product support policies for Business and Developer products, and for Consumer, Hardware, and Multimedia products. The Microsoft Support Lifecycle team recently announced important changes to the Service Pack Support policy.
The details of this policy change are as follows:
Under the former Service Pack Support policy, when a service pack reached the end of support, customers were no longer eligible to receive troubleshooting help from Microsoft Customer Service and Support, including assisted telephone support, security updates, or non-security hotfixes.
Customers requiring assistance from Microsoft had to upgrade to a supported service pack to be eligible for any support.
Microsoft listened carefully to this feedback and, as a result, updated the Service Pack Support policy to provide customers with limited troubleshooting on unsupported service pack versions.
So, what does “limited troubleshooting” actually mean?
The new Service Pack Support policy enables customers to obtain support as follows:
- Break/fix support incidents will be provided through Microsoft Customer Service and Support; and through Microsoft’s managed support offerings (such as Premier Support).
- There will be no option to engage Microsoft’s product development resources, and technical workarounds may be limited or not available.
- If the support incident requires escalation to development for further guidance, requires a hotfix, or requires a security update, customers will be asked to upgrade to a supported service pack.
The new policy will help to:
- Improve customer satisfaction by providing access to support representatives who can respond to questions about support options for unsupported service packs.
- Ensure that customers have a consistent experience when contacting Microsoft for support on an unsupported service pack.
- Provide additional support options and flexibility for customers who have not completed migration to a supported service pack.
Details @ Microsoft Support Lifecycle Blog | Read FAQ – Microsoft Support Lifecycle.
Incidentally, Windows Vista with no service packs installed, referred to as RTM, reached end of support on April 13th 2010.