In 2016, several Microsoft products like SQL Server 2005 and versions of Internet Explorer and .NET Framework 4, will hit their support deadline this year.
Microsoft’s enterprise software lifecycle product support is a policy with two five-year support phases, namely “mainstream support” and “extended support.” At the end of those 10 years, Microsoft essentially considers its software to be “unsupported” and no longer developed.
The IE loss of extended support happens on Jan. 12, 2016. That’s an accelerated deadline.
The new IE policy means most organizations will need to be running IE 11 by the Jan. 12 deadline. However, there’s an exception for the few organizations running Windows Vista Service Pack 2, which can continue to run the IE 9 browser since it’s the most current IE browser for that Windows product. Here’s a table illustrating this concept:
|Windows Platform||Internet Explorer Version|
|Windows Vista SP2||Internet Explorer 9|
|Windows Server 2008 SP2||Internet Explorer 9|
|Windows 7 SP1||Internet Explorer 11|
|Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1||Internet Explorer 11|
|Windows 8.1||Internet Explorer 11|
|Windows Server 2012||Internet Explorer 10|
|Windows Server 2012 R2||Internet Explorer 11|
IE 11 is currently the most used Internet Explorer version, according to general December Web polling by Net Applications. Those results showed IE 11 use at 25.6 percent, followed by IE 10 use at 4 percent and IE 9 use at 6.7 percent. IE 8 is still used by 9 percent, according to those stats.
.NET Framework 4 Deadline
Microsoft has also specified a Jan. 12, 2016 end of extended support deadline for some .NET Framework 4 versions. After that date, .NET Framework 4, 4.5 and 4.5.1 will cease getting hotfixes and security updates.
This deadline, part of a new policy announced in August 2014, may be easier to meet since organizations can install .NET Framework 4.5.2 or higher versions and continue to stay supported. The .NET versions from 4.5.2 are described by Microsoft as “in-place” upgrades, which make the process a bit easier. An in-place upgrade doesn’t require that the earlier .NET Framework version be uninstalled.s.
SQL Server 2005 Deadline
The end of extended support for SQL Server 2005 is scheduled for April 12, 2016. It takes several months to plan and execute a SQL Server migration, according to Microsoft.
Microsoft’s technical upgrade guide (PDF) suggests that it’s possible to perform an in-place upgrade from SQL Server 2005 to SQL Server 2014. The exception is a move from 32-bit SQL Server 2005 to 64-bit SQL Server 2014, where an in-place upgrade can’t be performed.