Windows XP Home Edition Support
by Arie Slob
Hello Windows users,
For the past weeks there has been a quite a bit of speculation that Microsoft would be ending support for Windows XP Home Edition at the end of this year.
According to Microsoft's published policy, they will offer a minimum of 5 years of Mainstream support for Consumer, Hardware, Multimedia products, and the Microsoft Business Solutions products.
Since Windows XP Home Edition is a consumer product, and was released in 2001, several people concluded that 2006 would be the year that, mainstream support for Windows XP Home Edition would end.
But as I had already published in a Newsletter from October 2005, another Microsoft policy is to offer two years of mainstream support to a product once its successor is released.
Microsoft has updated the Windows XP Home Edition support lifecycle information page that includes this information, so if Windows Vista will ship by the end of this year as currently planned, mainstream support for Windows XP Home Edition will run through 2008.
Since Windows XP Professional is classified as a business product, and Microsoft offers a minimum of 10 years support (5 years of Mainstream support and 5 years of Extended) for Business and Developer products, Windows XP Professional will have mainstream support through 2008 (same two years after Vista release) and another 5 years of Extended support (2013).
Windows XP Service Pack 3
There has also been some information on Service Pack 3 for Windows XP, with several Web sites "announcing" that SP3 is "now delayed" to 2007. Again I already pointed out in the Newsletter from October 2005 that Microsoft had hinted at a release after Windows Vista for Windows XP SP3, so that would mean 2007 for sure, since it usually takes a couple of months to finalize & test a new Service Pack.
So all Windows XP users can be sure that support will be available at least till the end of 2008, and a Service Pack 3 will could see the light in the second half of 2007 (according to Microsoft's Windows Service Pack Road Map). This would mean that some 3 years will have passed since Service Pack 2 was released (August 2004). And people wonder why some tech-savvy users build their own Service Pack & release them on the Web!
I think we shouldn't be all that surprised if we get a new announcement sometime early 2007: "Microsoft Cancels Windows XP Service Pack 3, announces Update Rollup instead". They did the same with Service Pack 5 for Windows 2000.
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Severity Rating: Critical
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