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Microsoft Extends Custom Support For NT Server

With Windows NT 4.0 Server support due to end on December 31, Microsoft is prodding customers to migrate as soon as possible, but also extending its custom support plan for another year to get them through the move.

Although the lifecycle of public (and free) support for Windows NT Server wraps at the close of 2004, a Microsoft executive said Friday that the Redmond, Wash.-based developer has made changes to its custom-support program to accommodate enterprises not yet ready to shift to a new operating system.

"We had planned to run the custom-support offering for the server migration through 2005," said Peter Houston, a senior director with Microsoft, in an online Q&A. "But some of our large enterprise and public-sector customers have told us they need until 2006 to complete the upgrade. To ease their migration, we've decided to run the custom-support program through 2006."

For a flat fee, Microsoft will make available security fixes to NT Server it deems are "critical" and "important," the two direst warnings it affixes to vulnerabilities. Earlier, Microsoft had said it would only produce critical updates to its custom-support customers.

"After hearing from customers that they want updates for vulnerabilities we've designated as 'Important,' we've found a way to deliver this," said Houston.

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