Microsoft’s categorization of support and unsupported methods and operations

Published 13 August 08 01:19 PM | rodtrent

Even though you have found a process or procedure that works great for what you need, what does it mean when Microsoft says that it is unsupported?

Here’s how Microsoft categorizes supported and unsupported scenarios…

Supported Scenarios:

    • Microsoft has thoroughly tested the product or solution, and can confirm the features or functionality work as designed/tested.
    • Microsoft will work to resolve the customers problem through normal troubleshooting, based on how the product or solution was designed and tested.
    • Microsoft will triage Hotfix requests for designed/tested features or functionality.  In other words, Microsoft will investigate the effort, risk, and value in developing a Hotfix and create one if warranted. Alternatively, they might offer workarounds that the customer can employ to achieve the same desired behaviors.

Unsupported Scenarios:

    • Microsoft has tested the product or solution, and can confirm the feature or functionality will NOT work.
    • Microsoft will not provide support for customer problems known not to work. Microsoft will make a reasonable effort to provide documentation for known “unsupported” scenarios.
    • Microsoft has not tested the product or solution, and cannot confirm the features or functionality work as designed/tested.
    • Non-Microsoft products or solutions are not generally tested against Microsoft products or solutions. Therefore, Non-Microsoft products or solutions are not supported by Microsoft.

The product groups cannot test every possible scenario under the sun and there are many "edge" scenarios that Microsoft will never test, but which are perfectly reasonable solutions for customers.

Just because something is labeled "unsupported" doesn't mean that the product support will leave the customer to the wolves. Unless something is *known* not to work, they will still offer commercially reasonable support to the customer and will work to identify the root cause of the problem. In some cases, if the support engineer believes the problem is related to the unsupported configuration, they may ask the customer to repro the problem in a supported configuration before continuing the troubleshooting.

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