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light at end of tunnel

End-of-life (product)

End-of-life (EOL) is a term used with respect to a retailed product, indicating that the product is in the end of its product lifetime and a vendor will no longer be marketing, selling, or promoting a particular product and may also be limiting or ending support for said product. Lifetime after last production date depends on product and is related to the customer's expected product lifetime. (e.g. toys from fast food chains (battery lifetime), car (10 years), mobile phones (3 years) or front end loaders (10 years).)

Product support during EOL varies to product. Hardware products with expected lifetime 10 years after production end, the support are spare parts, technical support and service. Spare parts lifetime are price driven due to the increasing production costs, when the parts no longer can be supplied through a high volume production site (often closed when series production ends) the cost increases.

In the computing field, this has significance in the production and supportability of software and hardware products. For example, Microsoft has marked both Windows 95 and Windows 98 for end-of-life; hence its new software, such as Office 2007, is not supported on Windows 95 or 98. Depending on vendor, this may differ from end of service life, which has the added distinction that a system or software will no longer be supported by the vendor providing support.

With hardware products, the term has come to incorporate the disposal and recycle-ability of an article. Many companies are now charging a "recycling" fee up front to cover the cost of disposal at end of life. Many hardware products are now engineered with end of life in mind.

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