FYI: Support ends for older Visual Studio versions in April

Showers of work for admins

Microsoft has dropped a gentle reminder that the clock is ticking for older versions of Visual Studio.

April is set to be a busy month for VS admins. Mainstream support for Visual Studio 2017 ends on 12 April (although there will be another five years of security fixes for v15.9). Support for Visual Studio 2019 v16.7 ends on 12 April, necessitating a hop to v16.11 (which keeps mainstream support to April 2024) or going direct to Visual Studio 2022.

Or you could opt for an entirely new set of tools. There are some worthy alternatives out there, not least Microsoft's own Visual Studio Code. Then again, things do move rather quickly these days, and for many the familiar moth-eaten blanket of Microsoft's development environment is a comfort even if it is now garbed in 64-bit clothes.

Visual Studio 2022 runs on a channel-based system of servicing. The Preview Channel allows an early peek at new features, the Current Channel (which gets updates every three months) picks up those features when they're ready for production. Servicing for a Current Channel version stops when the next minor version update is released.

Lastly there is the enterprise-friendly Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC), which is based on even-numbered minor updates and provides up to 18 months of support until a user must update in order to keep those patches flowing. The latest LTSC edition of Visual Studio 2022 (v17.0) will end support in 2023, although v17.2 should turn up in the coming months.

Also finally breathing its last in 2023 will be Visual Studio 2012, already out of mainstream support and due to turn its toes skywards (at least in terms of security updates) less than a year from now, on January 9, 2023.

So take a moment to celebrate 20 years since Visual Studio .NET was released by checking how much life your faithful friend has left in it. An update might be beckoning. ®

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