As of April 9, 2013, Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 moved from mainstream support to extended support. The CRM 4.0 software will be on extended support until April 10, 2018. It is not required to upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, however Dynamics CRM 4.0 users should understand how the support changes will affect their CRM deployment moving forward. If you are a customer using Microsoft CRM 4.0 On-Premise, you will no longer receive the following support items:

-          Warranty claims

-          Design changes and feature requests

-          No-charge incident support

-          Non-security hotfix support (except for customers who purchase an Extended Hotfix Agreement by July, 8, 2013)

Microsoft supports its software releases in phases. When Microsoft releases a new version of one of its applications, it continues to support the previous version as a mainstream release. Mainstream means that Microsoft will treat the release like their current production release and special conditions still apply. These special conditions include hotfixes for bugs, cumulative updates or service packs at longer intervals, and offering per-incident paid and prepaid technical support cases. After a couple years, Microsoft ends the special conditions and transitions the software into a phase called “extended support,” which typically lasts for five more years.

The table below, extracted from the Microsoft Support Lifecycle Policy FAQ, highlights the differences between mainstream support, extended support, and online self-help support for software products.

Support provided Mainstream Support phase Extended Support phase
Paid support (per-incident, per hour, and others) X X
Security update support X X
Non-security hotfix support X Requires extended hotfix agreement, purchased within 90 days of mainstream support ending.
No-charge incident support X  
Warranty claims X  
Design changes and feature requests X  
Product-specific information that is available by using the online Microsoft Knowledge Base X X
Product-specific information that is available by using the Support site at Microsoft Help and Support to find answers to technical questions X X

Source: Microsoft Support Lifecycle Policy FAQ, http://support.microsoft.com/gp/lifepolicy 

Note A hotfix is a modification to the commercially available Microsoft product software code to address specific critical problems.

 

Non-security hotfix support requires an Extended Hotfix Agreement purchased within 90 days of mainstream support ending. There are two methods available to sign up for the Extended Hotfix Agreement. The first option is an add-on program for existing Premier Support Customers. These customers can purchase the extended hotfix support for an annual program fee plus an additional fee for each nonsecurity hotfix provided in a contract year.  The second option is available on select products. You can enroll in Software Assurance or Business Ready Enhancement Plan at any time and only pay a fee for each nonsecurity hotfix needed.

According to Microsoft Services, you should consider purchasing an Extended Hotfix Agreement in the following situations:

-          When changes are made to products in the Extended Support phase.

-          When migration to a supported product cannot be completed by the end of the Mainstream Support phase.

-          If you have a history of requesting new nonsecurity hotfixes in any phase of the Support Lifecycle.

To discuss upgrade options from CRM 4.0 to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 contact xRM, a certified Microsoft Dynamics CRM Partner. Visit our website at www.xrm.com or call us at (800) 836-5147.