Deadline looms for end of XP, Office 2003 support

Deadline looms for end of XP, Office 2003 support

Summary: Mainstream support for Office 2003 and Windows XP will come to an end on 14 April, with maintenance available only to users who have signed up for extended support

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Microsoft will drop mainstream support for Office 2003 on 14 April, and on the same day the retirement process begins for its former mainstream operating system, Windows XP.

Although mainstream support for Office 2003 will come to an end, Microsoft has the product scheduled to remain in "extended support" until 8 April, 2014.

Under extended support Microsoft only undertakes to deliver patches and bug fixes. Any other maintenance will be available only to users who have signed support contracts with Microsoft.

Windows XP has similar contractual terms. As with Office 2003, mainstream support will end for XP on 14 April, and only users who have signed up for extended support with Microsoft will continue to receive help after the 14 April deadline.

Butler Group analyst Richard Edwards on Monday said the discontinuation of support for the two products should not cause disruption to business users. "These changes in support have been known about for some time, so most users will have already got their plans in place," he told ZDNet UK.

As far as XP is concerned, users will have long decided that they are either going to wait for Windows 7, or make the move to Vista, Edwards said.

"Some may have decided that they are going to keep up with XP for longer if there is a particular piece of software they use that is vital to their business," he said.

Similar decisions would have to be taken over Office 2003, he added. "The decision is to either make the move to Office 2007, or wait for the next version of Office, and in the meantime pay Microsoft, if you think you will need support," Edwards said.

Topic: Operating Systems

About

Colin Barker is based in London and is Senior Reporter for ZDNet. He has been writing about the IT business for some 30-plus years. He still enjoys it.

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3 comments
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  • Blatant Misstatement of Options

    There is a blatant omission in the statement of options for Office 2003 users:

    <i>"The decision is to either make the move to Office 2007, or wait for the next version of Office, and in the meantime pay Microsoft, if you think you will need support,"</i>

    The missing, and vastly superior, option is for users to switch to OpenOffice 3. Besides the obvious advantage in not having to pay Microsoft for Office 2007, I have been told again and again by people whom I have convinced to make the switch that it is considerably easier for the average Office 2003 user to learn OpenOffice than for them to learn Office 2007.

    Make the switch. Save the cost of buying Office from Microsoft AGAIN. Save the anguish of putting yourself and your company at the mercy of Microsoft's whims as to when they decide to dip into your pocket again with yet another "new release" of Office.

    jw 7/4/2009
    j.a.watson@...
  • Deadline looms for end of XP, Office 2003 support

    Amen brother, I made the switch to OO 3 years ago and have been promoting it to all my friends since. Of course it is a standard feature of most Linux distros so you don't even have to spend the time downloading, and being cross platform you aren't tied down by MS.
    ator1940
  • wait for Windows 7, or make the move to Vista

    I am down to one machine running any version of windows. The other 3 are now running Linux only. And I expect to be completely windowless by the end of the year, and I have no regrets.
    ator1940