Life cycle

Updated: 06/30/2019 by Computer Hope

With a development, product, service, or support, the life cycle is the stages it goes through during its creation. For example, with software, the life cycle is the steps the software goes through from the start to the end of life. These steps can include the product's design, development, testing, release, and support.

What is a software release life cycle?

As computer software is developed, it goes through a software release life cycle, which are steps followed to help make sure a quality product gets released. See our software development process page for further information on the software release life cycle.

What is the support life cycle?

A support life cycle is the time a company supports a product or service. For example, the mainstream support life cycle of Microsoft Windows 7 was until January 13, 2015, and the extended support life cycle is until January 14, 2020. A company may extend the life cycle of its products (as Microsoft did with Windows XP) due to the number of people still using it that may still need support and updates. Microsoft even released updates to a very serious security vulnerability in Windows XP in 2019 (18 years after it was released).

What is a product life cycle?

When selling a product, the PLC (product life cycle) is the following stages of the product while on the market.


The first stage of a product life cycle is the introduction of the product. This stage involves the marketing and branding of the product.


Next, the growth stage involves maintaining and improving the quality of the product, improving the distribution, and marketing the product to new audiences.


After growing the product, the next stage is maintaining the maturity of the product by keeping the price competitive, adding new features, and promoting the product.


The final stage happens when the product's business begins to decline. In this stage, a company may remove unused features, cut production and distribution costs, or consider discontinuing the product or selling its rights.

Business terms, Discontinue, EOL, Programming terms, Software, Software terms, Technology