Find Out Your Microsoft's Product Support Lifecycle

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 13, 2011
Updated • Jul 12, 2018

One of the aspects of buying a specific product online or offline is to consider that product's support lifecycle. The support lifecycle in plain terms refers to the time the developer or manufacturer of the product supports it with updates and staff to help users in support related tasks.

It is on the other hand not as if the product will stop working from one day to the other. The core issue here is that updates, and most importantly security updates, will no longer be produced for the product once the product reaches the end of its lifecycle.

While that's a big issue for Microsoft operating systems, it often does not really affect other Microsoft products such as Office. I know a few people who are still running Microsoft Office 2000 because that's all they need, and support for that product ended in 2009.

With Microsoft, it is more complicated than just looking at your product's lifecycle on the official website. The core reason here is that Microsoft may make distinctions not only depending on the country your purchased your product in but also on the edition of the product that you bought.

Mainstream, extended, and help-only support

microsoft support lifecycle

You probably want to know about the differences between mainstream and extended support phases?

Mainstream support: Security updates, other non-security updates, complimentary support included with license, paid support

Mainstream Support is the first phase of the product support lifecycle.

Extended Support: Security updates, paid support.

The Extended Support phase follows Mainstream Support for Business and Developer products

Self-Help Online Support phase

A third phase is often mentioned by Microsoft, the "Self-Help Online Support phase which allows free access to Knowledge Base articles, online product information and online support webcasts. Organizations may pay Microsoft to extend support beyond the official lifecycle.

When it comes to service packs Microsoft usually offers a 24 month support lifecycle. End of general product support will always end support for all the product's service packs.

The product’s support lifecycle supersedes the service pack support policy

Microsoft stopped the production of service packs with the release of Windows 8. The company switched to a Windows as a Service model with the release of Windows 10. Windows as a Service sees continued feature update releases for the operating system.

Now that you know about the support lifecycles, it is time to show you how to find the information for products that you have already purchased or plan to purchase.

Microsoft product lifecycles

windows product lifecycle

Visit the Microsoft Support Lifecycle search page and type the name of the product that you are interested in. Microsoft displays suggestions so that you may use those to pick the right product.

Matching products are listed with their name and information such as the lifecycle start date, end of mainstream and extended support, information about service packs if available, and notes. The notes may list migration information links that detail whether it is possible to upgrade the operating system to a newer version of Windows.


Find Out Your Microsoft's Product Support Lifecycle
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Find Out Your Microsoft's Product Support Lifecycle
How long is your Microsoft product supported by the company, and what is the difference between mainstream support and extended support?
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  1. Some Dude said on March 19, 2023 at 11:42 am

    Are these articles AI generated?

    Now the duplicates are more obvious.

    1. boris said on March 19, 2023 at 11:48 pm

      This is below AI generated crap. It is copy of Microsoft Help website article without any relevant supporting text. Anyway you can find this information on many pages.

  2. Paul(us) said on March 20, 2023 at 1:32 am

    Yes, but why post the exact same article under a different title twice on the same day (19 march 2023), by two different writers?
    1.) Excel Keyboard Shortcuts by Trevor Monteiro.
    2.) 70+ Excel Keyboard Shortcuts for Windows by Priyanka Monteiro

    Why oh why?

    1. Clairvaux said on September 6, 2023 at 11:30 am

      Yeah. Tell me more about “Priyanka Monteiro”. I’m dying to know. Indian-Portuguese bot ?

  3. John G. said on August 18, 2023 at 4:36 pm

    Probably they will announce that the taskbar will be placed at top, right or left, at your will.

    Special event by they is a special crap for us.

  4. yanta said on August 18, 2023 at 11:59 pm

    If it’s Microsoft, don’t buy it.
    Better brands at better prices elsewhere.

  5. John G. said on August 20, 2023 at 4:22 am

    All new articles have zero count comments. :S

  6. Anonymous said on September 5, 2023 at 7:48 am

    WTF? So, If I add one photo to 5 albums, will it count 5x on my storage?
    It does not make any sense… on google photos, we can add photo to multiple albums, and it does not generate any additional space usage

    I have O365 until end of this year, mostly for onedrive and probably will jump into google one

  7. St Albans Digital Printing Inc said on September 5, 2023 at 11:53 am

    Photo storage must be kept free because customers chose gadgets just for photos and photos only.

  8. Anonymous said on September 5, 2023 at 12:47 pm

    What a nonsense. Does it mean that albums are de facto folders with copies of our pictures?

    1. GG said on September 6, 2023 at 8:24 am

      Sounds exactly like the poor coding Microsoft is known for in non-critical areas i.e. non Windows Core/Office Core.

      I imagine a manager gave an employee the task to create the album feature with hardly any time so they just copied the folder feature with some cosmetic changes.

      And now that they discovered what poor management results in do they go back and do the album feature properly?

      Nope, just charge the customer twice.

      Sounds like a go-getter that needs to be promoted for increasing sales and managing underlings “efficiently”, said the next layer of middle management.

  9. d3x said on September 5, 2023 at 7:33 pm

    When will those comments get fixed? Was every editor here replaced by AI and no one even works on this site?

  10. Scroogled said on September 5, 2023 at 10:47 pm

    Instead of a software company, Microsoft is now a fraud company.

  11. ard said on September 7, 2023 at 4:59 pm

    For me this is proof that Microsoft has a back-door option into all accounts in their cloud.
    quote “…… as the MSA key allowed the hacker group access to virtually any cloud account at Microsoft…..”

    so this MSA key which is available to MS officers can give access to all accounts in MS cloud.This is the backdoor that MS has into the cloud accounts. Lucky I never got any relevant files of mine in their (MS) cloud.

  12. Andy Prough said on September 7, 2023 at 6:52 pm

    >”Now You: what is your theory?”

    That someone handed an employee a briefcase full of cash and the employee allowed them access to all their accounts and systems.

    Anything that requires 5-10 different coincidences to happen is highly unlikely. Occam’s razor.

  13. TelV said on September 8, 2023 at 12:04 pm

    Good reason to never login to your precious machine with a Microsoft a/c a.k.a. as the cloud.

  14. Anonymous said on September 18, 2023 at 1:23 pm

    The GAFAM are always very careless about our software automatically sending to them telemetry and crash dumps in our backs. It’s a reminder not to send them anything when it’s possible to opt out, and not to opt in, considering what they may contain. And there is irony in this carelessness biting them back, even if in that case they show that they are much more cautious when it’s their own data that is at stake.

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