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Difference between Mainstream Support and Extended Support

One of the questions asked most about Microsoft’s licensing policy is the scope of Extended Support. What does it mean and how long does it last? Who can leverage it?

Microsoft provides 5 years of support for almost all software products including operating systems such as Windows and Windows Server. It also covers development and database tools such as Visual Studio and SQL Server. This initial support period is called Mainstream Support. All security updates, new feature developments, and complimentary support are provided during Mainstream Support. For the end of support dates for Windows Server, check this post out.

Microsoft Extended Support

After the 5-year mainstream support, a new period called Extended Support starts. During the extended support, Microsoft still provides all security updates. However, unlike mainstream support, product design change or new feature addition requests are not accepted and complimentary support is not provided.

Difference between Mainstream and Extended Support

The table below shows the details of support types (Courtesy of Microsoft).

 Type of supportMainstream SupportExtended Support
Request to change product design and features Available Not available
Security updates Available Available
Non-security updates Available
  • Available only with Extended Hotfix Support
  • Not available for desktop operating system consumer products
Complimentary support1included with license, licensing program2 or other no-charge support programs Available Not available3
Paid-support (including pay-per-incident premier and essential support) Available Available

1 Refers to phone and online support options.
2 For example, support incidents acquired through the Software Assurance program for server products.
3 Limited complimentary support may be available (varies by product).

For detailed information, please visit Microsoft’s Product Life Cycle Policy page.

As a summary, the in Extended support:

  • No new features are added
  • Complimentary support is not available
  • Non-security fixes are available only if Extended Hotfix Support is purchased
  • Security fixes are available just like Mainstream Support

How to organize images automatically in an Excel file using a macro?

If you add multiple images at once to an Excel file, Excel will try to squeeze them in once cell. It will probably look like the screenshot below.

Instead of manually resizing and relocating these images, you can use the macro below to automatically organize all images in milliseconds.

Sub organizeImages()
     lastTop = 0
     staticHeight = 500

     For Each pic In Worksheets("Sheet1").Pictures
          pic.Top = lastTop
          pic.Height = staticHeight
          lastTop = lastTop + pic.Height + 15
          pic.Left = 0
     Next pic
End Sub

Images resized and relocated automatically:

How to create custom shortcuts to jump on the first, last or a specific worksheet in Excel by using macros

Imagine you have dozens of worksheets in an Excel file. In order to view a specific one, you will need to scroll right until finding that worksheet. Let’s say you finally find it. In order to come back, you will have to spend a similar amount of effort.

By using the macros below, you can navigate between worksheets easily. Just press the shortcut and Excel will take you there.


  • Ctrl + R: Go to first worksheet
  • Ctrl + L: Go to last worksheet
  • Ctrl + T: Go to a specific worksheet (It will ask you a number)


Sub JumpRequirements()
End Sub

Sub JumpLast()
    Sheets(Sheets.Count - 2).Activate
End Sub

Sub JumpSpecificTab()
    On Error GoTo NotValidInput
        number = InputBox("Requirement Number:")
        Sheets(number + 4).Activate
      'MsgBox ("Invalid value")
End Sub

In order to map shortcuts with macros, click “Options” button in “Excel ribbon > Developer > Macros” window and define the shortcut you want to use for that particular macro.

You don’t see “Developer” toolbar in Excel? Go to “File > Options > Customize Ribbon” and select “Developer” on the right-hand side list: