Future School

Product Life Cycle

  1. Product life cycle

    The Future School product life cycle guidelines provide advance notification in relation to individual product licenses and their life cycles. These guidelines apply to all Future School products, and provide information about the period of time licences are available for purchase (mainstream phase) and the associated support Future School distributors provide during the entire life cycle of Future School products. These guidelines are intended to assist customers with their product planning and future information technology decisions.

    Product life cycle

    Future School's policy is that its product licences can only be purchased for a maximum of three (3) years from the date each product licence is first released for sale, and that varying levels of support for a product will only be available for a period of five (5) years from the date that product licence is first released for sale. The different phases of a product are illustrated in the life cycle graph shown above, and are explained below.

  2. Product life cycle phases products and services

    Mainstream phase: 3 years
    1. Each Future School product licence is available for purchase through all standard product distribution channels;
    2. Distributor assisted support is available from the distributor from whom the product licence is purchased;
    3. Website support is available from national distributors, and registered licence users are also able to upgrade their version of a product to include any modifications to the version during this phase.
    Extended phase: 1 year (4th year after release for sale)
    1. Future School product licences are not available for purchase;
    2. Distributor assisted support is available from the distributor from whom the product licence is purchased;
    3. Website support is available from national distributors and all registered licence users, except educational volume licensing agreement customers, are able to upgrade their version of a product to include any modifications to the version during this phase.
    Final life cycle phase: 1 year (5th year after release for sale)
    1. Future School product licences are not available for purchase;
    2. Distributor assisted support is no longer available, unless specifically agreed to in writing by the distributor from whom the product licence is purchased;
    3. Website support is available from national distributors, and provides for registered licence users to request limited electronic assistance. Upgrades or modifications to a version are not available during or after this phase.
  3. Product life cycle road map

    Applying the product life cycle guidelines to our current desktop Future School home study and server Future School classroom operating systems, the following products are scheduled for transition to new phases.

    Future School operating systems and services in the mainstream phase (date product effectively entered the mainstream phase).

    • Future School Discovering English - Version 1.0 TP Online Version (20 October 2006);
    • Future School online mathematics Version 2.0 TCE (7 October 2007);
    • Future School online English grammar Version 2.0 TCE (7 October 2007).

    Future School operating systems that have entered the extended phase.

    • There are no operating systems or services entering this phase.

    Future School operating systems that have entered the final phase (product expiration date in this phase).

    • English grammar (home study) version 4.3 (5 April 2008) ;
    • Mathematics (home study) version 4.3 (5 April 2008);
    • Mathematics (classroom) version 4.3 (30 June 2008).

    Future School operating systems and services - no longer supported (product expiration and entry date into this phase)

    • Mathematics (home study) version 1.0 (12 June 2001);
    • Mathematics (home study) version 2.0 (5 December 2001);
    • English grammar (home study) version 1.0 (31 March 2002);
    • Mathematics (classroom) version 1.0 (20 June 2002);
    • English grammar (classroom) version 1.0 (20 June 2002);
    • Mathematics (home study) version 2.5 (7 November 2002);
    • Mathematics (home study) version 3.0 (13 September 2005);
    • English grammar (home study) version 3.0 (19 September 2006);
    • Mathematics (home study) version 3.2 (20 June 2006);
    • Mathematics (classroom) version 3.0 (20 August 2006);
    • Mathematics (home study) version 3.3 (12 November 2006);
    • Mathematics (home study) version 4.0 (1 June 2007);
    • Mathematics (classroom) version 4.0 (1 August 2007);
    • English grammar (home study) version 4.0 (1 September 2007).
  4. Re-classification of Online product life cycle

    1. Future School online products and services will not have an extended and final phase.
    2. From time-to-time the online products and services will be modified and the members will be automatically upgraded to the new product and services as they are introduced to the market and this will be identified as the Replacement phase.

      Future School operating systems and services that have been replaced by new products or services (date product was replaced by a new mainstream product).

      • Future School online mathematics Version 1.0 TP - (7 October 2007);
      • Future School online English grammar Version 1.0 TP (7 October 2007).
    3. Fundamental improvements will occur to the products and services and the customer will benefit by such improvements as part of the service provided in the monthly, quarterly or annual subscriptions.
    4. Should a product or service be terminated, it will not occur during the contractual period of any members subscribing to the FS Online services.
  5. Product life cycle FAQs

    1. Why is Future School providing distributors and customers with the Future School product life cycle guidelines?

      Companies that provide platforms for the Future School operating systems, such as Microsoft (R), are now providing defined product life cycle guidelines for their own system-based products. This has made it necessary for Future School to incorporate such limitations into its own product development, to develop its own product life cycles in ways which take account of the limitations imposed by platform operating system developers such as Microsoft (R), and to forewarn its distributors and customers of these limitations so they can more effectively plan their use of Future School's products.

    2. How were these guidelines developed?

      Future School has considered all of the standards currently implemented by major software developers and has researched current guidelines to ensure distributors and customers are given enough advance notice to allow for accurate information technology and product planning within their organisations.

    3. Do these product life cycle guidelines effect how long a customer can legally use a Future School home study or Future School classroom operating system, once the customer is registered as a licensed user?

      No. The product life cycle guidelines only have an impact on the availability of new operating system licenses for purchase, and on the support that will be given to those systems. Once a customer purchases a Future School home study or Future School classroom operating system, and has registered it for use, the customer may use it indefinitely. However, the longer an operating system is in service, the less likely the customer will be able to take advantage of software and hardware advances, which, over time, become mainstream in personal computers, devices, and software applications.

    4. How can customers estimate the likely life cycle of a Future School operating system that is not yet available, or is still in the development phase?

      Customers should use the Future School product life cycle guidelines for an existing system to estimate when a new system is likely to become available. Customers should assume a new system will be available in the mainstream phase for three years. It will then move into the extended phase, in which it will stay for one year. At the end of the fourth year, the system will move into the final phase for a final year.

    5. How can customers estimate the likely life cycle of a Future School operating system that is not yet available, or is still in the development phase?

      Customers should use the Future School product life cycle guidelines for an existing system to estimate when a new system is likely to become available. Customers should assume a new system will be available in the mainstream phase for three years. It will then move into the extended phase, in which it will stay for one year. At the end of the fourth year, the system will move into the final phase for a final year.

      Customers should expect that a new version of a system, or a replacement, will become available for purchase at some stage during the extended phase of the earlier version of the system. Actual dates of transitions between phases are set out above.

    6. Will Future School always follow these guidelines?

      Future School will review these guidelines regularly to ensure they remain appropriate and achievable given developments and changes made by hardware manufacturers and platform system developers, and may make changes to these guidelines if Future School considers it to be desirable. Future School intends to give at least 12 months notice of any such changes to the guidelines for any particular system.

    7. Why does extended support end four (4) years after general availability/initial release of an operating system?

      In the four (4) years between general availability/initial release and the end of extended support phase for a product, there are typically great advances in hardware devices and software applications. Because many of these advances could not have been anticipated or tested during the development of the older operating system, a customer is not likely to have a positive experience purchasing new hardware and software applications and installing the older operating system as the platform.

    8. Once extended support has ended, what are my options if I want to continue to receive support?

      Customers may contact their distributor and request hotline support, if available. However, once the extended support phase has ended, the only support generally provided is the support available at the national distributor's or Future School website, which ceases when the final life cycle phase ends.

  6. Notes for distributors and members

    These statements are offered as a guide to customers and are based upon current and future expectations. Wherever possible Future School will adopt the product life cycle guidelines. However, future policies may differ materially from these product life cycle guidelines due to circumstances beyond the control of Future School, such as the requirements of third parties which are imposed upon Future School. Future School product licence availability and support in a specific country may be different based upon the national distributor's support policies and agreements entered at the time of purchase.