Enterprises ask for and get 10-year software support cycles

I don’t write about Linux much, but this story by fellow ZDNet blogger Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols caught my eye today:

Red Hat extends Red Hat Enterprise Linux lifecycle to ten years

I’m a big believer in “It’s not broke, then don’t fix it.” So is leading Linux company, Red Hat. The company has just announced that it is extending the production lifecycle of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 5 and 6 from seven to 10 years in response to enterprise customer demand and Red Hat’s hardware original equipment manufacturer (OEM) partners.

A lot of consumers and tech bloggers fail to understand that enterprises prefer stability over shiny new toys. It’s hard to imagine using a 10-year-old mobile phone or MP3 player, but boring corporate apps need stability on the dektop and server sides.

Interestingly, this puts the leading maker of Linux servers on the same support lifecycle as … Microsoft. Consumer versions of Windows are supported for five years, business versions (including servers) get extended support for a total of 10 years.

I’ve got an old but still useful post that explains it all:

How long will Microsoft support XP, Vista, and Windows 7?

The point of having a predictable release cycle—a new Windows version every three years—is to encourage upgrades. That’s especially true for consumers, who can skip one version but not two. Even so, full support will be available until the beginning of 2015. For businesses, anyone considering a Windows 7 migration can take comfort in knowing it will be supported for nearly another decade more—until January 14, 2020.

If you’re curious about how this translates into actual dates, the post also includes a table that breaks support for desktop Windows versions down by version.

One thought on “Enterprises ask for and get 10-year software support cycles

  1. I wish all software was supported 10 years. I’m working with a group now trying to squeeze blood out of a 5 year old version of Quickbooks. ACK!

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