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3550 DC and regular 3550 IOS image

Cisco Catalyst 3550 24 DC SMI Switch has IOS 12.2.55-SE6 ED, but

Cisco Catalyst 3550 48 SMI Switch has only up to 12.2.44-SE6 ED.

From what I understand these all 3550 switches are all on the same platform, the only difference is power/interface/POE and software. It seems DC model's newer IOS image works on the non DC models.

I noticed End of Software Maintenance Releases Date for non DC model is in 2007 while DC model is in 2011. Is that the only reason newer IOS images are not available for non DC models?

End of SW Maintenance Releases Date for DC model is July 5, 2011 but the latest IOS image was releated on Aug 1, 2012... Interesting? Why Cisco extends SW maintenance for this particular model?

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3550 DC and regular 3550 IOS image

Notice that 12.2(55)SE was released in 2010 and that the 12.2(55)SE3,4, 5, and 6 maintenance release following that only included bug fixes and no new functionality.

I would guess that there is enough in common with the other Catalyst 3k family switches still under support that share most of that image's code that Cisco has decided to continue releasing the maintenance updates despite having passed the formally communicated end-of-maintenance date. That date has more to do with contractual support and commitment than it does with an absolute date after which no maintenance release will be issued.

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