Policy Revision Provides Time and Date Updates for Microsoft Customers

As part of Microsoft’s continued focus on customer satisfaction, we are announcing a revision to the Microsoft Support Lifecycle policy regarding the availability of Daylight Saving Time (DST) or Time Zone (TZ) updates during the Extended Support phase.

DST or TZ updates are important because unless they are applied, the time zone setting for a computer’s clock and calendar, as well as the recorded and reported timestamps may be incorrect.  This change to the Microsoft Support Lifecycle policy will enable all Microsoft customers to obtain these broadly distributed DST or TZ updates and help ensure their computer’s time information is accurate.

There are currently two kinds of updates for DST or TZ:

  1. The general distribution DST or TZ releases that are intended for broad consumption and made available via Microsoft and/or Windows Update two times every calendar year
  2. Out-of-cycle DST or TZ hotfixes

Previously, both types of DST or TZ updates were made available at no charge only for products in the Mainstream Support phase. However, to obtain any of these updates for products in the Extended Support phase, customers had to purchase and enroll in the DST Extended Hotfix Support program.

As per the revised DST policy, Microsoft has decided to make the following changes for products that entered the Extended Support phase after January 1, 2009:

  • General distribution of DST or TZ releases for products in the Extended Support phase will now be available at no-charge and be made available via Microsoft Update and/or Windows Update.  These general distribution updates will be provided twice a year on the northern hemisphere’s fall and winter.
  • Customers who require DST or TZ updates outside of the general distribution of DST or TZ releases will need to enroll in an Extended Hotfix Support program to obtain a DST or TZ hotfix and pay any applicable hotfix fees.

The Microsoft Support Lifecycle (MSL) policy provides transparent, predictable information regarding the support lifecycle of Microsoft products. More information is available on the MSL Web site: http://support.microsoft.com/lifecycle.

Nick.