Windows-Help.NET Newsletter 19 Oct. 2002, Vol 5 No. 42

In this issue:

w   Microsoft Standardizes Support Lifecycle
w   Microsoft Security Bulletin
w   Recent Support BBS Postings
w   Web Site Updates
w   Administrivia

The Utility For Any Serious Windows Tweaker!

Microsoft Standardizes Support Lifecycle

by Arie Slob

Hello Windows users,

This week Microsoft announced a change to its Support Lifecycle policy, in order to provide customers with a clear and consistent framework for product support.

Lori Moore, Corporate Vice President for Microsoft Product Support Services defined the terms of the Microsoft Support Lifecycle: "The Support Lifecycle policy is a standardization of Microsoft's product support policies. The policy applies to most products currently available via retail purchase or volume licensing, and future release products. For business and development software, the new Support Lifecycle policy provides mainstream support for a minimum of five years from the date of a product's general availability with an option to purchase extended support during the two years following mainstream support, provided the customer is on the latest or immediately preceding (if still supported) service pack. For most consumer, multimedia and hardware products, a minimum of five years mainstream support will be provided from the date of a product's general availability. Consumer products that have a new version released each year -- such as Money, Encarta, Streets & Trips, and Picture it! -- will receive three years mainstream support. These products are not eligible for extended support. Additionally, most products will receive at least eight years of online self-help support."

Originally the Windows Desktop Product Life-Cycle Guidelines were published in February 2001. With this new publication Microsoft made several changes to these guidelines. Under the new terms, Microsoft will declare "End of Life" for all MS-DOS versions, Windows 3.xx, 95, and NT 3.5x on December 31, 2002. This means that those products will no longer be eligible for any form of support, including the online Microsoft Knowledge base. The only major change has been to the date that Windows 2000 enters its "Extended phase": in 2001 it was announced at March 31, 2003, but this has been extended by two full years to March 31, 2005.

Also new is the addition of Windows operating system components (Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player) to the Product Life-Cycle Guidelines.

Windows XP has also been added to the list:
Operating SystemExtended phaseNon-Supported phaseEnd of Life
Windows 98 / 98 SEJune 30, 2002June 30, 2003June 30, 2004
Windows NT 4.xxJune 30, 2002June 30, 2003June 30, 2004
Windows MEDec. 31, 2003Dec. 31, 2004Dec. 31, 2005
Windows 2000 Pro.March 31, 2005March 31, 2007March 31, 2008
Windows XP HEDec. 31, 2006Dec. 31, 2006Dec. 31, 2007
Windows XP Pro.Dec. 31, 2006Dec. 31, 2008Dec. 31, 2009

Mainstream support includes all the support options and programs that customers receive today, such as no-charge incident support, paid incident support, support charged on an hourly basis, support for warranty claims and hotfix support. Extended support may include support charged on an hourly basis and paid hotfix support. In order to receive hotfix support, an extended hotfix support contract must be purchased within the first 90 days following the end of the mainstream support phase. Microsoft will not accept requests for warranty support, design changes or new features during the extended phase. Online self-help resources provide customers the ability to query the Knowledge Base and utilize resources on to find answers to their technical questions. Under the new Microsoft Life-Cycle Support Policies operating systems designed for consumers do not have an Extended phase (because consumers do not submit requests for extended hotfixes).

According to Microsoft, these changes are effective worldwide -- from October 15, 2002 --, except where local laws and market conditions dictate otherwise. Customers and business and industry partners should contact their account team or local Microsoft representative for more information.

For more information check the Product Life-Cycle Policies Web site.

Microsoft Security

Flaw in Windows XP Help and Support Center Could Enable File Deletion

Microsoft released a patch for Windows XP, to fix a vulnerability which could allow an attacker to construct a web page that, when opened, would delete files on the user's system.

Affected Software Versions

  • Microsoft Windows XP


    Flaw in Word Fields and Excel External Updates Could Lead to Information Disclosure

    Microsoft released a patch for Microsoft Word & Excel, to fix a vulnerability which could allow an attacker to create a document that, when opened, would update itself to include the contents of a file from the user's local computer.

    Affected Software Versions

  • Microsoft Word 97, 98(J), 2000, 2002
  • Microsoft Word 98, 2001, X for Macintosh
  • Microsoft Excel 2002


    Recent Support BBS Postings

    XP autodials on bootup - Windows XP
    "Messenger Service" popups Security / Virus
    Can't delete emails in OE - Internet Explorer
    What exactly is a router or a hub or a switch? - Networking
    Lost access due to re-installation? - Windows XP

    Web Site Updates

    These pages were added/updated in the past 2 weeks. Information on previously updated/added pages is available on the What's New? page for 1 month.

    Added: Solution to the 2.4GHz vs. Wireless Incompatibility Networking Dilemmas
    Added: DVD Players Not All Alike


    Added: Microsoft Standardizes Support Lifecycle
    Added: Microsoft Security: Flaw in Word Fields and Excel External Updates Could Lead to Information Disclosure

    Windows XP

    Added: Microsoft Security: Flaw in Windows XP Help and Support Center Could Enable File Deletion

  •   Highlights

    Solution to the 2.4GHz vs. Wireless Incompatibility Networking Dilemmas

    Are you one of the many to install wireless networking only to find your portable phone and it collide?

    Read Full Article
    DVD Players Not All Alike

    Numerous models available, but which format will survive the skirmishes trailing DVD dominance in the retail stores?

    Read Full Article
    Windows XP Tip: Installing Windows XP Recovery Console

    The Recovery Console is a command line (similar to DOS) that provides a long list of commands that you can use to troubleshoot/fix your computer when your computer does not start properly or does not start at all.

    Read Full Article
    DrvImagerXP - Drive Partition Imager

    Unlike typical backup programs that copy files, DrvImagerXP makes backups (image files) of NTFS and FAT32 drive partition structures (as well as floppy disks), for the Windows 2000/XP operating systems, by copying, byte-for-byte, the drive partition sectors. And when not using file compression, can do this very quickly, much faster than copying files.

    More Info
    [658 KB - Freeware]
    Windows XP: CD-R Drive or CD-RW Drive Is Not Recognized As a Recordable Device

    When you attempt to record (burn) data to a compact disc recordable (CD-R) drive or compact disc rewritable (CD-RW) drive, you may not have the option to send data to the CD-ROM drive.

    When you view the properties of the CD-R drive or CD-RW drive, you may notice that the Recording tab is not displayed in the CD Drive (drive_letter:) Properties dialog box, where drive_letter is the letter of the CD-R drive or CD-RW drive. Read Microsoft Knowledge Base article Q316529 for a solution.
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