Lifecycle FAQ - developer tools

Originally published: July 18, 2016

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Microsoft Visual Studio

What is the Lifecycle Policy for Visual Studio?

Visual Studio follows the established Microsoft Lifecycle Policy of a minimum of five years Mainstream Support and a minimum of five years Extended Support. Details are described here. Online services that are offered as part of the Visual Studio suite of products will follow the established Modern Policy.

Details about servicing for Visual Studio can be found on the Visual Studio Servicing website.

What lifecycle policy do external components follow that are offered within the Visual Studio suite?

Visual Studio includes a collection of compilers, languages, runtimes, environments, and other resources that enable development for many Microsoft platforms. As a convenience to our Visual Studio customers, Visual Studio may install certain Microsoft SDKs and other Microsoft components that target and support those Microsoft platforms. These components may be licensed and supported under their own terms and policies. See the list of components that are considered to be external to Visual Studio and their related lifecycle policies on the Visual Studio Servicing website.

What is the service pack policy for Visual Studio?

During the lifecycle, Microsoft will designate one of the Updates of that product as the "Service Pack". When Microsoft designates an Update as a Service Pack, the Lifecycle Policy Database will reflect the appropriate support end dates.

Microsoft Silverlight

What is the Lifecycle Policy for the Microsoft Silverlight product?

Silverlight is defined as a Tool. Tools are supported with the product they work with. However, support may be terminated by providing a minimum 12 months' notice.

Microsoft will continue to support Silverlight by shipping updates to the latest version of Silverlight runtime. Updates and new versions of the Silverlight runtime are backward compatible with web applications built in previous versions of Silverlight and will include the latest security enhancements, performance improvements, and product fixes.

What version of Silverlight is currently supported?

Silverlight 5 is the only version currently supported*. Silverlight 5 will support the browsers listed on this page through October 12, 2021, or through the lifecycle of the underlying browsers, whichever is shorter. Go here to learn more. Paid technical help is available to customers requiring support with issues beyond install and upgrade. Microsoft will continue to ship updates to the Silverlight 5 runtime for existing browser versions given that their extensibility model supports plug-ins, including updates for security vulnerabilities as determined by the Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC).

Go here to learn more.

*Silverlight will reach the end of support on October 12, 2021. There is no longer support for Chrome, Firefox, or any browser using the Mac operating system.

Microsoft Visual Basic

What lifecycle policy does Visual Basic 6.0 follow?

Microsoft is committed to support existing Visual Basic 6.0 applications that run on Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008 including R2, Windows 7, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2016, Windows 8.x, and Windows 10. As detailed here, the core Visual Basic 6.0 runtime will be supported for the full lifetime of Windows operating system with which it shipped for serious regressions and critical security issues.

Visual Basic 6.0 is made up of these key deliverables:

  • Visual Basic 6.0 IDE [integrated development environment] is no longer supported as of April 8, 2008.

  • Visual Basic 6.0 Runtime—the base libraries and execution engine used to run VB6 applications.

  • Visual Basic 6.0 Runtime Extended Files—select ActiveX control OCX files, libraries, and tools shipping with the IDE media and as an online release.