Hoping to allay concerns over the looming April 8 end of support for Windows XP, Microsoft has clarified that some of its XP embedded product line will get extended support through to 2019.
As ZDNet has reported previously, Microsoft will continue making critical patches available for the embedded Windows XP systems running on ATMs until January 2016, compared with full Windows XP versions on desktops, for which there will be no more security fixes beyond April 8 this year.
At the same time, it's not as simple as Windows XP versus the embedded version of the operating system.
As Microsoft's Windows Embedded team highlighted in a blogpost yesterday, there are five different Windows Embedded products that are based on Windows XP and each have their own support sunset, depending on when they were made generally available.
For example, there's Windows XP Professional for Embedded Systems, which is the same as Windows XP. Extended support for that, like the general Windows XP, ends on April 8, 2014.
Microsoft however will continue to offer extended support for a range of XP-based embedded systems, including Windows XP Embedded Service Pack 3 (SP3), which will be supported until April 12, 2016. It was the original tool kit and "componentised" version of XP that was released in 2002 for embedded systems.
Microsoft makes critical security updates available for products under extended support, but during that phase customers require a special agreement to get non-security hotfix support.
Other embedded products affected by the winding down of XP include its younger point of sale products.
Windows Embedded for Point of Service SP3, which was released in 2005 for point-of-sale (PoS) devices, will get extended support until April 12, 2016.
Windows Embedded Standard 2009 was an updated version of Windows XP Embedded SP3, but since it was released in 2008, Extended Support goes through to January 8, 2019.
And finally, Windows Embedded POSReady 2009 for POS devices will continue to see extended support until April 9, 2019.
Despite five years of support remaining for some XP-based products, Microsoft is urging customers to move to more recent embedded Windows releases such as Windows Embedded 8.1 Industry, which includes measures such as "trusted boot" that ensure the system hasn’t been tampered with during boot up.