Microsoft syncs app support life cycle, patch releases

Microsoft Corp. said Tuesday that it will push back the end date for supporting software products by 10 to 15 days to match its release of security patches to customers.

Exchange Server 5.5 is the first software to be affected. Microsoft traditionally ended product support at the end of a calendar quarter, such as Dec. 31 or June 30, just a few days before the second Tuesday of the following month, when it routinely issues security updates. That timing meant that some customers would not be able to get the latest fixes for software Microsoft had just stopped supporting.

'By eliminating that 10-to-15-day gap, we're making sure that our dates make sense to our customers -- that they're even more consistent and predictable,' said Ines Vargas, group manager for the Microsoft Support Lifecycle Program. 'We're going to review all of our products over the quarter to make all of those date changes, and we're going to implement the new support dates for all of our products.