End of Support for Windows XP SP2 and Windows Vista (with no service packs installed)
If you keep up with the Microsoft Support Lifecycle Policy (and honestly, who doesn’t? J), you may have noticed that we have a number of products and service packs with upcoming support transitions. In today’s post, I want to discuss the end of support for two of our operating systems service packs: Windows XP SP2 and Windows Vista without a service pack installed (sometimes commonly referred to as RTM/SP0).
What Does this Mean?
Windows Vista with no service packs installed will reach end of support on April 13, 2010. Windows XP SP2 will reach the end of support on July 13, 2010. In both of these cases, support for the service pack will expire in accordance with the Service Pack Support policy. We first outlined this part of the policy back in October but now that end dates are coming closer, we wanted to remind customers that there is a need to take action. You can find more information about this here.
But first, some basics (if this is too 101 for you, you can skim this part). Let’s start by defining what a service pack is. As part of the effort to continually improve Microsoft software, updates and fixes are created and released for recognized issues. Many of these fixes and others are combined into a single package (called a service pack) that is made available for installation. This can include updates for system reliability, program compatibility and security. The products we’re talking about ending support for in this case are Windows XP SP2 and the original release of Windows Vista – one with no service packs installed. To set some context, the current service packs for these products are Windows XPSP3 and Windows Vista SP2. These are both available at no cost for customers. If you are running anything less, than you’re missing important free updates for your PC that can make your PC safer and run better.
Now let’s identify what end of support means. End of support means that Microsoft will no longer provide further support for that specific service pack level. This means that customers need to upgrade to a supported service pack to continue to receive security updates, hotfixes or assisted support from Microsoft Customer Service & Support Cisco CCIE LABS.
If you are running one of these versions that is about to reach end of support, I’d really encourage you to think about upgrading to Windows 7. Why am I recommending Windows 7? Basically, Windows 7 makes your PC simple to use and provides the latest security technology from Microsoft in both the OS and Internet Explorer (IE8). It also allows you to do more with your computer – and ensures your PC is completely up to date. If you are a consumer, I’d also recommend ensuring that you have an up-to-date antivirus program (such as Microsoft Security Essentials).
How To Keep Your PC Up-To-Date and Safe
Here is a quick snapshot with links for easy reference.
1. Click this link to check for updates to your Windows PC.
2. Accept and install all important and recommended updates
3. Go back to check for updates at least once a month to keep your computer up to date
4. Download IE8 to ensure a safer browsing experience.
5. Download our free antivirus offering called Microsoft Security Essentials
More on How to Upgrade
If you’re not ready to make the move to Windows 7, you should — at an absolute minimum —move to a supported service pack (Windows XP SP3 or Windows Vista SP2) as soon as possible. This way, you’ll continue receiving security updates and support from Microsoft.
If you’re not sure which version of Windows Vista or Windows XP you’re running there are a couple of easy ways to find out:
· Click the start button, Run (or Windows Key + R), and type in ‘winver’ (no quotes); the resulting dialog will indicate which service pack they have installed.
· Click the start button, right-click on Computer, and select Properties to see a window that indicates (among other things) the service pack installed.
Even beyond Service Packs, it’s important to make sure you stay up to date with all updates for your Windows PC. If you have not done so already, I also strongly recommend turning automatic updates on Windows Update. If you turn on automatic updates, you not only will be sure to get critical updates automatically, but also the latest improvements and security updates for your PC.
What if you are a Business customer of Microsoft?
Our end of support policies impact all customers running specific versions, but there are a few things business customers should keep in mind:
• Small and midsize businesses should consider Windows 7 Professional, which is designed to help you work the way you want, help you get more done, and safeguard your work. If you have an Open License agreement, you can get a really great deal while upgrading.
• Larger organizations should evaluate to Windows 7 Enterprise, which enables enterprise customers to be more productive from anywhere, while helping IT departments manage risk and reduce costs through streamlined PC management CISCO CCIE Written Exams.
• Upgrading to Internet Explorer 8 improves the level of protection against current and emerging online threats
Finally, if you are concerned about potential application migration issues, there are a host of tools available to help, including the Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit, Windows XP Mode, and Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V) to help migration. To learn more about these tools, visit the Springboard Series on TechNet.
In my next post, I plan to focus on a couple of other key support transitions that will impact our business customers. The end of support for Windows 2000 and the Extended Support phase transition for Windows Server 2003. If you are running either of these products, you may want to familiarize yourself with the situation for these products.
As always, please keep the comments and questions coming. We certainly appreciate your feedback!