XP gets a new lease on life

XP gets a new lease on life

Summary: Planning to stick with Windows XP for a while? Microsoft just gave home users a gift of three additional years of support. For XP Home and Media Center editions, the "extended support" clock continues ticking till 2014, the same as it does for business users.

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TOPICS: Windows
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One of the favorite topics of conspiracy-minded readers is the notion that Microsoft is about to shut down support for Windows XP, forcing hapless users to buy Windows Vista. Back in September, in Vista Mythbusters #3, I reprinted the relevant dates from Microsoft's support lifecycle and pointed out that users of XP Home edition could expect support until at least April, 2011, with XP Professional getting support through April, 2014.

In that post, I noted, "And of course there’s always the possibility that Microsoft could extend support for XP as they did for Windows 98."

And that's exactly what Microsoft did today. From the press release:

Today, Microsoft is announcing the addition of an Extended Support phase for the Windows XP Home Edition and Windows XP Media Center Edition operating systems, providing consumers with an additional phase of support.

With the addition of Extended Support, the support life cycle for Windows XP Home Edition and Windows XP Media Center Edition will include a total of five years of Mainstream Support (until April 2009) and five years of Extended Support, matching the support policy provided for Windows XP Professional.

Bottom line: If you want to stick with Windows XP, you can choose to do so for more than seven additional years, with security updates available during that entire period.

With luck, Windows XP Service Pack 3 will be out before then.

Topic: Windows

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23 comments
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  • Did anyone think MS would drop support for XP

    Ed,

    As ever you seem keen to paint a rosy picture of Microsoft's efforts. You know full well that Microsoft will have corporate and government contract obligations to support XP for a fixed number of years after the product stops shipping. There was never any doubt that XP support would be dumped as you imply some people thought. This was a myth you invented and then tore down yourself -though I have no doubt you will be able to point to some blog or story that suggested otherwise.

    You will also know that today's announcement of an ongoing support is also open to change. Unless Microsoft is taking on paid supports contracts for this period there is nothing to stop them in 5 years saying we've changed our mind.
    martin23
    • You contradict even yourself

      First you talk about 'corporate and government contract obligations' then you say 'nothing to stop them in 5 years saying we've changed our mind'
      Which is it?

      I agree with you that there was never any real doubt MS would back XP for years to come, but what in the heck are you talking about?
      mdemuth
      • but is (s)he in contradiction?

        Support for the home version of XP versus the pro version (which is the gov'nt and corp version of choice) was originally different. The home version is set to expire from MAINSTREAM support in 2011, while the pro version is 2014... Apparently they have -now- extended support for Home and MC until 2014 as well, but certainly they could "change their mind" on the home version media centre in five years. The pro support until 2014 was never in question, only the longevity of the Home and MC versions.
        sweklaweklfwe@...
        • Appears to be a new policy

          It makes no sense to have separate support calendars for business and home editions, because with XP SP2 and Vista they are all built on the same exact code base. Any patch made for the business version should work on consumer versions as well. Since the support is already there for business versions, it's no big deal to extend it to consumer versions. In fact, it would be more complex to block patches for consumer editions for no good technical reason.
          Ed Bott
  • NOT quite True!

    You're NOT quite correct in that accessment. WinXP Pro is a business O/S and needs a longer life cycle than the home version because MOST, if not ALL US based businesses do not
    do any upgrades for at LEAST a year after a new O/S is released!
    So Microsoft to keep American business going forward they give
    a longer life cycle for those pro O/Ses. Meaning they have special scripts written for their current O/S that must first
    be tested on any new O/S they plan to upgrade to. As well as having their IT Department verify that their current systems can
    handle the upgrade, or if the upgrade is needed at that
    particular time. So therefore they take a year or better to do
    an O/S upgrade.
    mikeholli
    • Huh?

      I can't really understand what you're saying. And even based on what I think you said, what does that have to do with what I wrote?
      Ed Bott
      • "Accessment" = stop reading

        As soon as you reach a made up word in a post (in this case, "accessment"), usually it's best just to stop reading and ignore the rest of it since it's a good indicator it won't be worth the effort.
        ejhonda
  • Windows Genuine Advantage to protect MS licences

    No doubt the focus of SP3 will be to make sure that your version of windows xp is valid and if it isn't (or in many cases just thinks it isn't) it'll ask if you want to download and buy Vista or if you'd prefer to have your version of XP disabled.
    reasonableman
  • Nothing Changed

    Just another step in Microsoft's plan to control the
    end user. Of course they will continue to support XP.
    What their support amounts to is updating WGA, DRM, and
    their "help and support" account, making it easier for
    them to scan and control. certainly not anything to
    benefit the end user.
    Plus (as has been pointed out), they can change the
    terms at their whim (which they do frequently,
    according to "which way the wind is blowing").
    They will not stop "support" of XP. What they will do
    is refuse to re-activate it (or make it so difficult as
    to render it undesirable) unless you pony up or
    purchase Vista.
    Some will say that because they (Microsoft) hasn't said
    they would means that they won't, but time will tell.
    When the time comes, the facts will be in evidence.

    http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2006/12/a_cost_analysis.html

    http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/vista_cost.html

    http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9007749&intsrc=article_more_bot
    Ole Man
  • It doesn't really matter ...

    The Windows XP codebase crosses all versions so it costs MS nothing to provide support thru 2014 for all since they have to provide support for their business customers.

    Whether it's 2009 or 2014, it doesn't matter much though. Vista ships in January of 2007. By 2009, one-half to two-thirds of all the PCs out there today will have been replaced by machines running Vista. Anybody who is likely to upgrade their hardware at all will have done so by 2014 so MS is not exactly leaving any of those 'late adopters' twisting in the wind if they are still running Windows XP by then.
    M Wagner
  • THE OPERATING SYSTEM BELONGS IN THE CPU

    When installing an operating system the option to install in to the CPU must be stated.
    BALTHOR
    • Say WHAT?

      There is a reason these things are called "general purpose computers". I can think of nothing more inane than including the OS in the CPU itself. Not only does it retard the utility of the hardware, but it immortalizes coding deficiencies in the hardware.

      Nor does the phrase "install in to the CPU" make much technical sense. You would propose to put RAM in the chip? Whose chips, exactly?

      I'll pass.
      dave.leigh9
  • No real surprise here.

    It's quite clear even this early that there is extremely limited interest in Vista. Microsoft has succeeded in spending the last several years crafting something that many of their customers simply don't want. I think even Microsoft sees that they force their customers away from XP there's a good chance that many of them wouldn't choose Vista as the replacement.
    dave.leigh9
    • I've worked on some projects that didn't exactly soar

      But I think if I'd spent the money spent on Vista, and got Vista out, I wouldn't be proud.

      This reminds me of Lotus Notes 4.6 to Lotus Notes 5.0.
      I mean why?
      Slower, bloated, no extra features, just harder to find the ones you used to be able to find, and a very questionable makeover.
      stevey_d
  • Who cares?

    I wonder how many people out there are like me. How many really care what this new OS is or isn't? I'm still with 2K Pro except for one laptop that came with XP Home pre-installed. I don't care who supports or doesn't support anything, just so long as it will run the apps that I use every day. I may upgrade to XP when everybody rushes over the cliff like a bunch of lemmings, going for Vista.

    Have fun, folks.
    tedhall1
    • I care....

      I want MSFT to continue to support/release Critical and not critical patches for XP as I run it at home.
      redtrain65
  • op in CPU no Way - How about this instead

    All new CMOS should allow for a boot screen to pop up allowing us to boot from USB. Then you can plug in multiple USB Flash drives all with different OPS on them thus on turning on the system the CMOS will display a menu allowing you to boot from which ewer you choose. Thus we would have an unlimited options in what we would like to run. Heck while we are at it how about a Quick SWAP feature that we can turn on to flip back and forth between different op. systems. Maybe then we might see Linux and others get a fair shake.
    avallee
  • ITS NOT THE SUPPORT IT IS...

    The FACT that MS has pulled XP PRO and Office 2003 from sale and OEM.

    The FACT is I dont want VISTA or Office 2007 I dont like them, I have tried it bummer it took me hours to reinstall XP PRO and Office 2003 get my system back (NOT to mention the fact Office converted my files to the new format, thank god I had a backup of all my files on the HDD.

    YES MY SYSTEM I paid for it I own it NOT MS.

    This is still a FREE country (I think it is) and I will NOT BE DICTATED TO on what I can purchase.

    I have been a MS user supporter for 22 years MS have just given me the push to look elsewhere.

    I have set aside a system to evaluate other O/S's.
    carlsf1
  • Looking Elsewhere

    I decided to load Ubuntu on my home PC - I still have Windows XP on my Laptop. I rarely use Windows anymore. Frankly I don't see Vista offering anything I don't already have, but that's not the point. The point is, as you stated, it's my PC, I paid for it and it's mine to use as a I see fit. When you agree to the license agreement with Vista, you give MS the right to examine your PC for "unwanted" software and you explicitly give them the right to remove it.

    Nobody has the right to examine and modify my PC.
    davidsarmstrong
  • XP Service Pack 3 is out

    I have it installed on my Corporate desktop right now. So what's with the statement from you article as follows:

    With luck, Windows XP Service Pack 3 will be out before then.
    voska1