Is Microsoft About to Stop Supporting Your Favorite Product?

microsoft ending support

Earlier this year, Microsoft ended support for at least one past operating system, Windows XP. Now, Microsoft announces some additional products – including one other operating system – will reach the end of their support cycles either later this year or early in 2015.

If you use any of these Microsoft products for your small business, it may be wise to understand how these changes will affect them.

Microsoft says support will end for the following products on Oct. 14: Internet Security and Acceleration Server 2004 Standard Edition Windows CE 5.0

These additional Microsoft products will no longer be supported by Microsoft by Jan. 13, 2015:

  • Host Integration Server 2004 Developer Edition
  • Host Integration Server 2004 Enterprise Edition
  • Host Integration Server 2004 Standard Edition
  • Systems Management Server 2003
  • Systems Management Server 2003 R2
  • Virtual Server 2005 Enterprise Edition
  • Virtual Server 2005 Management Pack
  • Virtual Server 2005 R2 Enterprise Edition
  • Virtual Server 2005 R2 Standard Edition
  • Virtual Server 2005 Standard Edition
  • Visual FoxPro 9.0 Professional Edition

The end of support for these products will mean Microsoft will no longer provide security updates, non-security hotfixes, free or paid assisted support options or online technical content updates.

As a result, if you continue to use any of these products for your business after the end of Microsoft’s support cycle, any data could become highly vulnerable to cyber attack.

Microsoft is also announcing that it will be retiring several service packs by early next year. Once retired, these service packs too will receive no further updates

Support will end on Oct. 14 for:

Office 2010 Service Pack 1 and SharePoint Server 2010 Service Pack 1

And support will end for these service packs on Jan. 15, 2015:

  • Visual Studio 2012 Remote Tools
  • Visual Studio 2012 Test Professional
  • Visual Studio Express 2012 for Web
  • Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows 8
  • Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows Desktop

The company also announced that some products will be transitioning from Mainstream Support to Extended Support. When these products make this transition over the next six months, Microsoft says it will not be accepting requests for design changes or the addition of new features.

Extended Support on these products will continue for 5 years. Security updates will be provided for free while hotfix support will carry a fee.

A full list of the many products Microsoft is transitioning to Extended Support, can be found here.

Microsoft Photo via Shutterstock


Joshua Sophy Joshua Sophy is the Editor for Small Business Trends and the Head of Content Partnerships. A journalist with 20 years of experience in traditional and online media, he is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. He founded his own local newspaper, the Pottsville Free Press, covering his hometown.

6 Reactions
  1. By ‘stopping’ support, does that mean that they are no longer accountable if it is no longer working and people are just literally ‘forced’ to buy the newer versions lest they want their small business data to corrupt because of old software?

  2. This sounds like a move to *force people to upgrade (*without actually saying that’s what they’re, in effect, doing) while absolving themselves of the energy to support anyone who chooses to stick with the product they have.

  3. Essentially, that’s what Microsoft is doing. I know we probably all have affinities for applications of days gone by but if Microsoft were to never end support for older products, I’m sure that would drive up the cost of new services and products.

    It’s a tough call here. For any small business that would be “forced” to upgrade to new products, the cost, I’m sure, is a burden.

    • Joshua, I feel Microsoft knows it can get away with such a move. There are so many businesses and individuals that use their products, that are dependent on their products, that Microsoft is in the position of power, a power which I feel they’re using unfairly.

      The decision sets to make Microsoft more money because businesses will (eventually) have no choice but to upgrade if the support for, or say a particular required patch, is no longer available because it’s quote-unquote outdated.

      What Microsoft should do, in light of what it plans to do, is offer discounts for businesses when they upgrade. Microsoft is saving money by no longer offering support for those products, while also making money for upgrades. They can afford to offer discounts.