In this issue:
Microsoft Extends Windows XP Support for Consumers
by Arie Slob
Hello Windows users,
This week Microsoft announced that it is adding an Extended support phase for the Windows XP Home and Media Center Edition (MCE) operating systems, bringing these in line with the 'business-oriented' products such as Windows XP Professional.
In Microsoft's original lifecycle support plans, Windows XP Home and Media Center Edition where only going to receive a 5-year lifecycle support as is customary with all Microsoft's consumer products.
A Microsoft statement about the change reads: "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."
The addition of the Extended Support phase means that Microsoft will support the products with security hotfixes only. Products under Extended Support are not eligible for design changes, nor will non-security-related software updates be provided.
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Windows Vista Service Pack 1?
Yes, you read it good. We're discussing Vista's first Service Pack, even before the consumer launch of the product, slated for the end of this month.
If you are asking why Microsoft is already working on the first service pack for Vista, it's quite normal that the 1st service pack ships within the first year after Release To Manufacturing (RTM). Windows XP got its first service pack after eleven months, Windows 2000's first service pack was released six months after RTM.
You may have heard some rumors that Vista's SP1 will include "a total rewrite of the kernel, using the Longhorn code", it's a rumor I've had to deal with several times in the past weeks.
Let me tell you what the deal is here: the code base is the same between Vista and Longhorn server. Changes made to the kernel after Vista RTM, actually after Microsoft forked for RTM, will be in Vista SP1 since they are compiled from the same code base. Microsoft have not "re-written the kernel" since then. The majority of everything in there will be bug fixes.
According to reports Microsoft is planning to release Vista's SP1 around the same time as it will RTM Longhorn.
Now, the more interesting point is that while Vista has been tested as no other consumer OS before, the server version (Longhorn) will have an extra 6-10 months of testing before its release. This means that Vista SP1 would offer the same stability, security & robustness as the server OS (Longhorn). This will be the first time in its history that Microsoft will have the reliability of a server on a consumer OS. This looks to be a great deal for consumers.
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