Microsoft commits another year of support to NT Server 4.0

Microsoft Corp. will stretch its support for its 6-year-old Windows NT Server 4.0 software for one more year. The company now plans to offer free service through this year and fee-based service through 2004.

The company said after Jan. 1, 2004, it will no longer offer hotfixes, free patches to bugs for NT 4.0, to address nonsecurity problems. After Jan. 1, 2005, it will halt pay-per-incident and premier support.

In December 2001, when Microsoft first laid out NT 4.0's retirement timeline, which the company hoped would press its customers toward upgrading, the deadline for free support was Jan. 1, 2003, and for paid support was a year later.

Microsoft intends to replace NT 4.0 and Windows 2000 Server with its April worldwide release of Windows Server 2003, which was known as Windows .Net Server 2003 before its name change last month. The company has stopped selling NT 4.0 through reselling and original equipment manufacturer license channels and plans to plug the last sales channel, OEMs who buy products from a Microsoft OEM authorized distributor, by July 1.

The company said yesterday that it will implement new data monitoring and application upgrades to Windows Server 2003 that are aimed at improving the product's reliability.

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