So what does “out of free support mean”

I’ve been answering a lot of questions recently about the fact that free support for Exchange 5.5 ends on December 31st.  Probably brought on by the fact that I blogged about our Exchange unplugged tour last week, and set a few thought processes in motion.  There seems to be a lot of different thoughts about what this means.  A couple of years ago we introduced a support roadmap for all of our products called the Software Support Lifecycle which enabled you to plan your upgrades and refreshes.  When a product is released i.e. Exchange 5.5, then that product remains under full support for a period of 5 years from the date of product release (or 2 years after the date of release of the 2nd successor product, whichever is longer).  Essentially, most products will receive at least 10 years of online self-help support.  Details about this support lifecycle plan and product support information can be found here.