Support expiring for aging Windows products

Microsoft suggests upgrading or request custom support

The clock is ticking on support for a number of Windows products, Microsoft warned on Wednesday. Products with lapsing service support include Windows XP Service Pack 2, Vista RTM, Windows 2000 and Windows Server 2003.

Microsoft has sounded this alarm before. Back in December, the company warned that "extended support" for XP SP2 and Windows 2000 will end on July 13.

On Wednesday, a Microsoft lifecycle support blog post hinted at grim prospects for those who don't upgrade before that time. Simply put, the end of extended support for those products means that no more security updates will be delivered to patch vulnerabilities in those operating systems. Support articles will remain online, but just for a year.

Microsoft customers who can't upgrade when extended support ends have another option: They can request "custom support" from Microsoft, which will cost extra.

Users of XP SP2 can continue "mainstream support" for the product if they can upgrade to SP3. However, some organizations may be held back from upgrading by lack of personnel and a need to support legacy applications. If an upgrade is possible, extended support for XP SP3 will end on April 8, 2014.

Vista users who have never upgraded to SP1 or SP2 will face end of support on April 13. A service pack upgrade is required "to continue to receive security updates, hotfixes or assisted support from Microsoft Customer Service & Support," according to Microsoft.

Lastly, Windows Server 2003 users will move from the mainstream support phase to the extended support phase on July 13, Microsoft warned. Security updates will still flow during the extended support phase, but nonsecurity hotfixes will require setting up an agreement with Microsoft, according to the company's lifecycle support policy.

Those who are still stuck on the Windows 7 release candidate (RC) will face two-hour shutdowns of the OS starting on March 1, according to a Microsoft blog. The RC will actually expire on June 1. An alternative for IT pros who still need time to evaluate Windows 7 is to download a 90-day trial version of Windows 7 Enterprise.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is the online news editor for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group sites, including, and

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Reader Comments

Fri, Mar 12, 2010 Jim2

WOW!! At the risk of being group with the posters above, I just want to say that you are a bunch of curmudgeons! Grow up, go outside and soak up some sun before you become a differnet species!

Tue, Mar 2, 2010

So Windoze XP SP-2 support is ending – Oh I am so so sorry to hear that.

I have been running XP SP-2 for (I don’t know how many years) and I have yet to need Microsoft support for anything at all.

I refuse to upgrade to XP SP-3 because I have noticed (in the past) that any Windoze upgrade for an older product that appears (after a newer Windoze product is brought out on the market) seems to destroy the efficiency of the older product – Windoze efficiency is bad enough without any more helpful upgrades. Also I don’t like the SP-3 licensing agreement.

As for Vista and Windoze-7 (Vista-jr.) – I don’t think so – I am not going to have Mr. Bill tell me what software to run, impose his notion of proprietary rights enforcement on me, or have his spy-ware phone-home every time I boot my system. As for “real disadvantage” and “logo testing” what the h**l is that all about?

The fact remains that Windoze XP SP-2 works just fine without upgrades – all you need is a reasonably-priced third-party security product like Stopzilla and a decent browser like Firefox, along with a partitioned hard drive to prevent Windoze Registry crashes from making your data inaccessible.

The only reason to replace a working OS is because you need to run software or hardware that is not supported on your current OS. Well, the last two hardware innovations on an Intel platform that mean anything to me are the USB-port and the Wireless-router – and XP SP-2 runs both of them without a hitch. As for software – I use quite a variety from data modeling tools to DBMSs to Autocad to VMware and I have no fear that these software vendors will keep writing XP-compatible product upgrades as long as Windoze XP has 90+ % of the desktop Market.Yes weaning ourselves from Mr. Bill and getting on Linux is the long-term solution, however many of us are too busy to do it - just yet. I run several Linux servers under VMware on an XP-Laptop – having become familiar with the command interface, once again, I still can’t use it for commercial work. But I am resolved to get away from the evil OS vendor who does everything he can to dumb-down his customers.

I know someone who just resolved not to use MS Office for 30-days – at the end of that time he was perfectly happy to work on Open Office and he never went back to MS Office. I still use Office 2003 and hope to never move to 2007.

As for hardware – I boycott any vendor whose new machines don’t support XP and Linux. If that isn’t good enough – there is always a good deal on eBay (just replace the hard drive with a new one). As for the latest and greatest CPU speeds, most of the time your CPU is waiting on your keyboard, your network, your disk drive or your memory – a faster CPU will only wait faster.

Tue, Mar 2, 2010

And this my friends is why I have purchased my last Microsoft product.

Mon, Mar 1, 2010 jim Rome, NY

Throw out your old systems, or upgrade to Ubuntu. Your choice. You could get used to the Orange Screen Of Working Fine, instead of the BSOD.

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