How can i determine if a Dell computer is still actively supported by Dell with regard to security fixes in BIOS/drivers/bundled utilities?
I have seen a previous post with a similar question and the only answer was to check support.dell.com. I have tried that by entering the service tag for a 2003 Dimension 8300 which i would guess is no longer supported but i couldn't see any obvious confirmation of this. The only clues are the fact you cannot select any OS other than XP and hardly any drivers listed. However, this is not an adequate method of checking, especially if it were a newer device which is more on the borderline and may well have drivers listed but are no longer being updated.
Anything over four years old is end of life and no longer supported with BIOS updates. As for the operating system, Windows XP updates ceased on April 9, 2014.
ejn63 - Do you have a reference for the "anything over four years old is end of life"?
When is the start date for the 4 years? Is it 4 years after they stop selling a product?
That would approximiately agree with the posting here by Daniel (Dell) (he said approx 5 years from when they stop selling a product)
I am aware XP is very dead, i was just using the service tag for a very old machine becuase i thought if the Dell support site does show when a product is EOL then that ought to do it.
"i thought if the Dell support site does show when a product is EOL then that ought to do it."
* No, the site does not spell out EOL (End of Life). Barring extraordinary exceptions (Intel AMT Advisory INTEL-SA-00075); 3 years from the RTS (Ready To Ship) date is the mark we use for the last BIOS update. 5 years from the RTS date is the mark we use to keep parts available for in warranty systems.
Chris, your answer is the clearest i have had so far.
You've already mentioned a 14-year old Dimension system - long past the five year absolute EOL mark.
You can usually find the "ship" date by searching for a product review - the reviews start about when the systems are released to market.
Please disregard the 14 year old system i mentioned. It was just an example service tag i used to see if the Dell website would flag it as EOL. I'm not actually interested in this PC its the general policy of Dell i'm trying to nail down. So far from a combination of this forum, general Googling and phoning Dell i get a variation in answers of 3 to 6 years. The start date for these periods is also elusive, some have said from "release date", others don't specify when the start date is.
This has all come about becuase of the Cyber Essentials certification scheme in the UK. This is driven by the UK government in an attempt to improve the cyber security of micro & small business. Further info at www.gov.uk/.../cyber-essentials-scheme-overview
An application form i have seen for this scheme has the following two questions:
1.Are all operating systems and firmware on your devices supported by a supplier that produces regular fixes for any security problems?
2. Are all applications on your devices supported by a supplier that produces regular fixes for any security problems?
Checking the Windows OS and mainstream software applications is fairly straightforward as they publish this info. Obtaining confirmation (of which i'm confident is accurate) for the remainder is proving difficult. Not just with PC's/laptops but also other devices such as printers & WAP's.
Specifically on Dell, here's an example which is more current. I have a Latitude E7440 which i purchased in 2014. If a security vulnerability were to be found tomorrow in the BIOS or in a Driver will Dell provide a fix? According to the info Dell-ChrisM has supplied it appears the answer is "No" or at least borderline. However, when i phoned Dell out of warranty support today i was firstly told new Bios/drivers would still be offered for "5 years from purchase". When i tried to clarify the start date for this 5 years i was put on hold again before the representative then changed his answer to 6 years and couldn't say when the start date was.
Dell-ChrisM seemed to be "in the know" hence why i just wanted to clarify the "ready to ship" date.
Thanks for the tip on find this out this date via product reviews..