Microsoft's free XP, Office 2003 support ends April 14

Microsoft's free XP, Office 2003 support ends April 14

Summary: A quick reminder: Microsoft's free support for XP and Office 2003 is going to end next week, on April 14.


A quick reminder: Microsoft's free support for XP and Office 2003 is going to end next week, on April 14.

If you have a Software Assurance licensing contract with Microsoft, you can buy paid support for those two flagship products from the Redmondians. But after April 14, the only support XP and Office 2003 users will continue to get for free from the Softies are security-specific fixes.

Even though Microsoft will continue to offer XP via downgrade rights with Vista and Windows 7, the free support for XP is still ending.

Topics: Microsoft, Collaboration, Operating Systems, Software, Windows


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • clarification of "free"

    Just to clarify: users will still be able to get free "Product-specific information that is available by using the online Microsoft Knowledge Base" and "Product-specific information that is available by using the Support site at Microsoft Help and Support to find answers to technical questions"

    Details here:

    Scott Braden

    Scott Braden
  • QUIT IT!


    Security hotfixes will continue for another 5 years for FREE.

    How many other bug fixes and feature changes have we seen in the last year or so?

    You put out headlines like this and stir up my managers and I have to calm them down all over again.

    QUIT IT!
    • security fixes

      ummmmm.... did you read the post? i noted security fixes will continue for free. Sorry if your managers don't read past the headlines.... MJ
      Mary Jo Foley
      • RE: security fixes

        I have to agree with jkosborn4. Your post was misleading, even if technically accurate.

      • what was free that won't be now

        Even as a Microsoft Registered Partner, I am confused and underwhelmed as to what significance this has, if any, for the individual home, professional or small to medium business user.

        Everything continues for 5 more years, as before, except:

        1. "Non-security hotfix support", which is only likely to be used by developers or corporate clients, who may obtain an extended hotfix agreement, purchased within 90 days of mainstream support ending

        2. "No-charge incident support", explained here: to include "2 support requests,
        Installation support - Unlimited no charge by phone" by email and Weekdays 5A-9P or Weekends 6A-3P by chat or phone.

        However, this never covered "Advanced issues (which) include problems that are associated with software and hardware development, network connectivity, server-based technologies, and business-critical systems. (Excluded) issues can also include problems that are associated with configuration and deployment of business workstations and servers.

        3. "Warranty claims", whatever they might be this late in the game

        4. "Design changes and feature requests", not likely this late in the life cycle either

  • ... the Sky is Falling ... the End of the World is Nigh....

    << crickets in the background >>

    "... users will continue to get for free from the Softies are security-specific fixes" for XP and Office 2003.

    << crickets in the background >>
  • RE: Microsoft's free XP, Office 2003 support ends April 14

    I guess I'm saying that we don't need 300 articles on this with titles filled with hyperbole.

    The support that everyone cares about continues. This is practically a nonevent.
  • Mary-Jo, you should run an online poll

    Mary-Jo, you should run an online poll asking readers how long it has been since they contacted Microsoft for support of XP and/or Office 2003.

    Would the average be 6-months, 12 months, 24 months, never? It would be interesting to know.
    • RE: Online Poll

      Never for me, except the occasional (back in
      2001-2004) call to MS to reactivate my computer
      because I wouldn't stop fiddling with it.
  • RE: Microsoft's free XP, Office 2003 support ends April 14

    At least they could wait for 6 months after Win 7 is released before stopping support for XP. That would give us time to upgrade.
  • RE: Microsoft's free XP, Office 2003 support ends April 14

    Microsoft has decided to leave again a part of the market. If they are satisfied, no comment to add!!!
  • I'm Feelin' Really Stoopid Here....

    Ok folks, I need to ask this very basic question.

    It's there a place on the MS website that a person with a legal copy of XP (Pro or any legal copy for that matter)and download the SP's and all the security fixes and save them to your computer so that you can burn them to a CD/DVD and easily install them if you need to "rebuild" your hard drive for whatever reason?

    I haven't been able to find that option on the MS website or when you install their updates.

    Thanks for any help you can provide.
    • Yes, there is a place for downloads...

      For general Microsoft download information, see . For specific XP service packs, see . You probably would not want to hunt down all of the security fixes individually, as most will be referenced by specific knowledge base articles. Get/install XP SP3, and use Windows/Microsoft Update to get all issued since SP3 was released. Security updates should continue to be available from Microsoft.
    • I Don't Know About Now

      But back when Sp2 come out Microsoft offered a disk with Sp2 on it. I have that disk. If my Win Xp had gone for any reason, I could get my windows xp-Sp2 certified.
  • Can you still call to activate it?

    Will that be there forever or will they end that also?
  • Microsoft's 5-year Extended XP, Office 2003 support begins April 15th

    This might have been a more informative, but less attention grabbing headline.

    After all, the type of Microsoft support actually used by 90% or more of all non-enterprise Windows users remains unchanged for another five years.

    The most significant issue for most users, is that FULL SUPPORT FOR SECURITY ISSUES continues unchanged.
  • RE: Microsoft's free XP, Office 2003 support ends April 14

    Thus the need for something called AutoPatcher.
  • RE: Microsoft's free XP, Office 2003 support ends April 14

    Hi there!

    Will be quite a few months before I move away forever from my old Windows XP SP3, that's for sure! Why is it, that when a person has in hand a good OS, that the leaders MUST have another in their pockets, and regardless what we have in mind as individual businesspeople, THEY make the decisions for us? No doubt there will be some better aspects to Windows7, but presently it doesn't seem that Microsoft is playing with our heads by ensuring various software makers are being given financial incentive so that they will only make their software to be used on Windows7, as I believe was the manner of the days back when we used Windows 98SE and the like, but we have reached with Windows XP SP3.

    What must I do now, other than buy another machine simply because it costs ONLY a little more to buy it, rather than a stronger power supply, maybe update the chip and add extra memory, and upgrade the video to 512 or so? What in the world is going on REALLY, other than Microsoft [and MANY software companies] catering mainly to the gamers, and bringing all the rest of us along, as if we need the gamers' fuel, when we aren't gamers! I still cannot type faster than my keyboard can take, so what do we need another OS for?
  • Don't worry, Xp will be fine, always!

    Thanks for this article. Lol don't worry MS will still support Xp for security update, and OEM manufacturer will still support you for both (security and optional updates). I think we may just need them only, even my friends offlince PC havent got any update for years (except Xp SP3 offline install) without any problem at all, especially since Xp has been pretty stable after SP2 and SP3 and some latest optional updates. You'll still be able to get Xp for years forward i.e from ebay, some remaining stocks (believe me, there are many!), or use downgrade rights etc. It's the most popular OS ever! Even in illegal way if you really wanted it bcoz MS doesnt give us more options by selling it legally lol sorry kidding (but it's still a fact). Btw if you want to enhance Windows Xp so it will serve you as well as Vista and Windows 7, just visit and read enntire here:
    "List of Vista and Windows 7 Applications Features for Xp or 2003": and
    , very worthy article imo, hoefully useful for Xp or 2003 users even you can get some original Vista applications ported to Xp etc! Personally i'll keep Xp longer, even maybe 2014. Anyway good luck and long live Xp! - The best Microsoft operating system, again fact. Cheers!