What Does “Supported” Mean to Microsoft?

There are a few words Microsoft likes to use in several different situations. “Federated” is a great example of this. Federated can mean several different things in the Microsoft world, and it can sometimes be hard to tell what sort of “federation” you’re talking about.

“Supported” is another word Microsoft uses to mean different things in different situations, and what I’d like to talk about in this blog post.

The support cycle for Microsoft products has long been a point of contention for enterprise customers. Too long, too short, too many updates, not enough updates — I've heard every sort of complaint you can imagine, and I might even agree with many of them. Can you call Microsoft to get help with an “unsupported” configuration? Will you get patches for software that is no longer supported? Is Microsoft still developing new features for your software? Is it safe to run software after it is out of support?