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Retiring Windows NT Server 4.0: Changes in Product Availability and Support

The Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 family of operating systems entered the marketplace in September 1996. After five years on the market—and with the increasing adoption of its successors, the Windows 2000 Server and Windows Server 2003 families of operating systems—Windows NT Server 4.0 was retired in phases. This article describes the schedule for changes in product availability and support.

Changes in Product Availability

As announced in September 2001, and effective October 1, 2001, Windows NT Server 4.0 (Standard and Enterprise Edition) is no longer available through Microsoft Volume Licensing programs. This product line continued to be phased out through July 1, 2003, as indicated below.


July 1, 2002Windows NT Server 4.0 (Standard and Enterprise Edition) Full Packaged Product (FPP) is longer available in the reselling channel.

July 1, 2002Windows NT Server 4.0 (Standard, Enterprise Edition, Terminal Server Edition) is no longer offered through the Direct OEM channel.

July 1, 2003Windows NT Server 4.0 (Standard) is no longer offered through the System Builder channel.

Changes in Product Support

Through December 31, 2003, those running Windows NT Server 4.0 (Standard, Enterprise Edition, or Terminal Server Edition) were eligible for all standard support services, including:

  • Pay-per-incident support
  • Premier support
  • Ability to request and obtain QFEs (or "hotfixes") at no charge
  • Online support

To assist customers upgrading from Windows NT Server 4.0 to the Windows 2000 Server and Windows Server 2003 families of operating systems, Microsoft made available an additional year of support at no charge to customers.

This additional year of no-fee support ends December 31, 2004. Customers migrating to Windows Server 2003 may request and obtain a custom support agreement to provide additional limited security update support through 2006. Please contact your Microsoft account team, Microsoft Services Premier Support, or Microsoft's Customer Service Solutions Group for details. These custom support agreements are available in six-month increments and provide limited security update support only.

Changes in these services take effect as indicated below.


January 1, 2004Beginning on this date, non-security hotfixes are no longer available.

January 1, 2005Beginning on this date, Pay-per-incident and Premier support are no longer available. This includes security hotfixes.

January 1, 2007Online support is no longer available.

IMPORTANT:The immediately preceding service pack is supported for up to 12 months after the current service pack releases. For more information, visit http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=fh;%5bln%5d;lifesupsps.

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