Business software maker Oracle has bowed to customer pressure and extended support for older versions of its software.
As late as last week Oracle remained adamant that support for version 10.7 of its business applications, due to finish on 30 June 2003, would not be extended.
But the software giant has relented and promised limited support until June 2004.
The extension will provide customers with workarounds and fixes to known problems, and will be available through Oracle's online support at OracleMetaLink.
The news will welcomed by the majority of customers still using 10.7, who would be unlikely to have completed any planned upgrade by June 2003, according to Paul Parnis, deputy chairman of the UK Oracle User Group.
But he remained concerned about how Oracle had handled the whole matter, after the software giant delayed the decision and quietly backed down.
"The clarification on this could have come six months earlier. Because Oracle has downplayed the news, many users will feel that the imperative to upgrade is still there," said Parnis.
The extension will not include the supply of patches for newly discovered bugs, nor annual updates for payroll and taxes.
Users and analysts had called for Oracle to offer an extension to its support.
The company had previously insisted that its date of 30 June 2003 was reasonable, having extended the deadline twice before.
Its client server-based 10.7 software was released seven years ago. But a fifth of its application customers are still using 10.7, and this appears to have brought about the company's change of heart.
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