I wanted to save this link to the Microsoft Support Lifecycle page and thought I’d share as well. It’s a listing of all Microsoft products and service packs along with the end dates for mainstream and extended support.
Most of think about moving to the latest and greatest version because it has new features we know will make life easier and/or benefit the business we work with – a case we make with varying degrees of success. The other side of that coin is that some audit standards will require that you only run software that has support from the vendor. Mainstream support is typically ‘free’ in that they will publish patches for security flaws. Once that expires you’re often into a situation where you pay for any type of support.
Knowing this and doing the research to see what rules apply in your environment help you make a better case for upgrades and it also helps the business from getting into a corner requiring a last minute barely planned upgrade to meet a deadline. Keep your inventory current and brief the boss once a year, it’s a simple service to provide that is worth a lot.