back to article Microsoft killing free XP support next week

Microsoft will drop free support for handful of aging products next week, including consumer versions of Windows XP and Office 2003. On April 14, the Redmond giant ends "mainstream" support for Office 2003 in addition to Windows XP Home and Professional. This means the software will no longer include no-charge incident support …


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  1. James O'Brien

    Question here

    "Windows Vista Home Basic, Premium, and Ultimate: Mainstream support ends April 10, 2012. Extended Support doesn't yet have a deadline."

    Even though I use Vista on my game machine and love it won't Vista go the way of ME and disappear in a year anyway??

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    So they're cutting support of most popular OS around. Whatever, it only has 60% of market share...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That's the trouble with being successful?

    It isn't an OS but a convoy of OSs?

    It isn't applications but convoys of applications?

  4. Ken Hagan Gold badge


    So you can downgrade and then go take a running jump?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Dumb Question?

    Does this mean that all updates, bug fixes and service packs already produced will no longer be available for fresh installs of XP? Or just that there won't be any new ones?

    Surely a lot of people who've just bought Mickysoft netbooks are going to need access to those for a while yet?

  6. Anonymous Coward

    No Exchange

    Not worth mentioning Exchange 2003 on the 14th? I may be wrong but it looks like mainstream support ends for Exchange server too.

    bring on the shiny new products :o)

  7. Austin Modine (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: No Exchange

    Thank you kindly, anon. You're right. I've added the upcoming Exchange Server 2003 killdate to the story.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Just me?

    Is it just me... I've got linux servers that have been up continuously for longer than 'mainstream' support for a major MS server OS??

    Oh and PLEASE update the icons... Billy boy retired ages ago; we need a baddy Ballmer icon.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Wonder what this means for those who find themselves needing to go through the Windows Activation process for whatever reason? Like I just had to because I revived this Ubuntu machine's long-unused XP license inside a VMWare instance for IE8 (and 7 and 6, too) testing.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I won't be getting any support for my Office 97, then?

    And they won't be getting any more money from me for an upgrade. When it physically will no longer run, I'll shift to Open Office.

  11. Joel Osborn

    Support contines until 2014

    Would you guys quit it with the headlines about XP support going away? Every time you publish one of those, I have to calm all my managers down saying that the hotifx support continues for another 5 years.

    Thank you very much.

  12. John Sanders
    Gates Horns

    Mainstream support... er does anyboy actually use it?

    Who cares about mainstream support anyway, I've never met anyone in the IT sector that had to call MS a single time, if the issue was unsolvable, then reinstall, if there is incompatibility, roll back previous Win version, if NT4 is required, run it inside VMWare...

  13. Greg Trocchia

    @Ken Hagan

    My take on this is that the "double downgrade" straight to XP is a contingency measure. If Windows 7 turns out not to have as easy a time running on a netbook as MS hopes, or if for some other reason Windows 7 encounters the same kind of push-back in the market that Vista has, then MS is not just conceding the only really hot market segment in the computer business these days to its competitors. If worst comes to worst they can soldier on with XP on netbooks.

    If, on the other hand, Windows 7 achieves the hoped for success on netbooks and elsewhere it would not surprise me much to see the option to "downgrade" to XP being withdrawn fairly aggressively in order to push the user community back into MS's desired upgrade schedule. I hasten to add that this is just my guess, I have no inside information on the subject, but it does seem to fit the available facts.

  14. Dave Bell

    Thank God I'm using a Linux machine.

    I am not going to rule out Windows 7, but I shall not hurry.. And Linux seems easy enough to use on this netbook. The only market advantage MS seems to have is inertia. And lazy teachers in schools.hat did happenyothat series of

    What did happen to your series of Linux articles?

  15. Goat Jam
    Gates Horns

    If they are still selling XP

    then they have to support it, no?

  16. N

    MS lost the plot

    If they ever had it, XP is probably one of the most popular OSs around with around 60%, so why drop support? I suppose its not the latest and most expensive operating system any more & Microsoft wants us all to use something thats shite, gets on your tits and costs a bomb.

    @AC - I have a Novell 3.1 server that has been running for about ten years.

  17. Steve Foster

    RTM Only!

    Note that the end of free support for XP only applies to XP RTM. Apply SP1, SP2 or SP3 and you're still covered.

    IOW, the proportion of XP installs that are genuinely going to be out of mainstream support will be minuscule.

  18. Steve B

    This somehow suggests that there was support for XP

    I thought the MS policy was to flog a beta version of a product and then as developers caught up issue updates to bring the product into line with the advertised functions. Due to those nasty hacker type people, MS also have had to take some time out to correct basic programming and design flaws in the name of security fixes, to maintain market share. If they hadn't bothered, how many people would now be on a different platform using different products.

    Too date, after being involved with IT since the 70s, I never realised that MS offered genuine free support.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Money for nothing

    Whenever I HAVE called Microsoft fro support; even to report bugs and issues, I get a big fat zero in response anyway. I'm not going to start paying for the nothing I get in response.

    If Microsoft support was actually worth anything, then it would be worth paying for ... but .. well ... it's just not worth it.

    If they want to make money, they should just charge on the premium lines. I recall many years ago when a colleague was on hold for the best part of an hour and actually fell asleep while on hold waiting for a Microsoft representative to actually answer the phone.

  20. Anonymous Coward

    I took The Red Pill

    And dumped MatrixSoft years ago. I learned the truth and it saved me a packet ;)

  21. Bod
    Thumb Up

    Patches until 2014

    Suits me. XP is Microsoft's best OS to date and that keeps it alive until then. Few corporates want to touch Vista with a bargepole and with lessons learnt about Vista, few will touch Windows 7 for many years after launch, assuming it's okay (and of course typically wait for SP1 or better SP2).

    Unless Win7 is gobsmackingly better and performs as good as XP on current spec PCs (I doubt it will), I see no reason to upgrade short of my PCs dying.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I've a hunch the dopwngrade right from Win7 to XP is primarily aimed at corporates buying volume licences, who will still be rolling standard XP builds to desktops for some time, at least until they've had time to give 7 a long pilot test.

    It's standard practice for MS Volume Licensing to only sell licences for current products, but then allow you downgrade rights to install previous versions until you're good and ready to migrate.

  23. Steven Snape
    Thumb Up

    Things could be worse.

    I suspect things would be a lot worse if it wasnt for netbooks and the Intel Atom and similar. The threat of Linux on netbooks is probably the only reason XP is still available. I am suprised that MS are continuing critical updates until 2014, I was expecting 2010 or 2012.

    I assume MS might have come up with a proper upgrade and a product people want by 2014.

  24. Joe Zeff


    Why wait until your computer dies to upgrade from Office 97 to Open Office? Why not upgrade now, and get it over with? In the long run, you'll be happy that you did.

  25. Matthew
    Thumb Down

    *free support*

    eh.. its just some Indian reading directly off the Microsoft KB anyway.. hardly helpful.

  26. Andi

    ‘Microsoft killing free XP support next week’

    Never knew there had ever been a free XP support.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    MS and it's support?

    After having gotten a bagle worm / rootkit / trojan "thing" all in the one go, and seeing just how easialy MS's douchbag windows defender, the security updates and patches, and safe boot and system restore - were knocked out - like a cockroach under a Sunday news paper.

    Never mind all the other security products that were turned off and stopped from reinstalling too......

    If they are such a wonderfully innovative company - how come they are not fixing this stuff up - which has been such a huge pain in the ass for so many consumers, for such a long time.......

    Or rephrased - if they can't make the effort to get this crapware fixed and secure, then what is going to change next time around?


    MIcrosoft has already been phased out on all my PC's - and Linux is improving in leaps and bounds.

    Why? - Because Microsoft is not worth shit.

    And unless you are a billion license customer - their support is non existent.

    But they will bend you over backwards to avoid giving any service at the premium prices via clueless IT students reading scripts, from call centers in cheap skate deals in low wage countries.

    Crap software + Crap service = Crap Company.

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