Windows XP Mainstream Support Ends April 14, 2009

This is news from softpedia about mainstream support for Windows XP

On April 14, 2009, Microsoft plans to cut off mainstream support for Windows XP and Office 2003. As a consequence, both products will move in the Extended support phase, which will last for the next five years. The Redmond company is of course using the opportunity in order to stress the importance of upgrades to the latest releases for its main cash cows. Still, the end of mainstream support is not synonymous with completely severing the lifeline of Office 2003 and Windows XP. In fact, both products
will continue to be supported until 2014, although the updates provided to customers running the two
products will be less diversified.

“Microsoft’s standard support policies dictate that mainstream support will provide free fixes for security and bugs for the life of the product. Mainstream support usually lasts 5 years after which the product would enter a period known as ‘extended support’,” revealed Viral Tarpara, Microsoft IT Pro evangelist. “’Extended Support’ is only provided to customers who have signed support contracts with Microsoft. While Microsoft will continue to provide security fixes for a product for free, any bug fixes or non-security hot fixes will require extended support contracts.”

The following Windows XP SKUs are affected by the mainstream support cut-off: Home Editions, Media Center Edition, XP Professional (both 32-bit and 64-bit), as well as the Tablet PC Edition. Essentially, Microsoft will offer free security updates for Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) until 2014. Office 2003 SKUs affected are: Basic Edition, Professional Edition, Small Business Edition, Standard Edition, Student and Teacher Edition. Extended support for both XP and Office 2003 ends 08/04/2014.

“Naturally, Microsoft wants few people on these types of support contracts as possible, promoting that customers should consider upgrading. Upgrading, however, isn’t always an option so getting extended support is a good way to cover the needs of an enterprise. SMB markets won’t be affected too much by this because they don’t typically do a lot of heavy customization and integration work like enterprises. For what it’s worth, Windows XP and Office 2003 have had a great run,” Tarpara added.

Windows XP Service Pack 3 FINAL can be downloaded via this link.

Office 2003 SP3 is available as a standalone download via this link.

Source : softpedia

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