Instead of 24 months and 3 versions, Novell will in future only supply 2 updates in 18 months for openSUSE.
A short mail from Michael Loeffler announced the cut from 24 to 18 months of maintenance. The mail on the openSUSE mailing list comes one day after Marcus Meissner announced that maintenance for openSUSE 10.3 will end in October.
The new model will cut the maintenance period to 2 versions and 2 months after the release of the following version (2+2), which with the planned release rhythm of 8 months means 18 months.
The move brings the openSUSE project closer to the Fedora maintenance procedure: Red Hat ends support for community distributions one month after release of the next but one Fedora version (2+1).
First reactions to the change were not long in coming: Boyd Lynn Gerber suggests building on an enterprise product based openSUSE version, even without a maintenance contract with Novell, to ensure five years of support, like, for example, Centos offers for the Red Hat enterprise version.
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