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January 4, 2006

XP Home support ends 12/31/2006

Posted by David Hunter at 11:13 AM ET.

Ken “Caesar” Fisher provides a prod to Microsoft at Ars Technica in Windows XP Home: obsolete sooner than you expect. Even if you are familiar with Microsoft’s lifecycle policy for business software,

  1. 5 years of mainstream support or until 2 years after the next version ships whichever comes last
  2. 5 years of extended support (e.g. free security fixes) after mainstream support ends
  3. Residual self-help online support (e.g. the Knowledge Base)

you may not have checked into the policy for home software:

  1. 5 years of mainstream support
  2. Residual self-help online support

And, moreover, you may not realize that while Windows XP Professional is business software, Windows XP Home is home software with end of mainstream support scheduled for 12/31/2006.

Aside from folks using XP Home for effectively business purposes, I’d guess a whole lot of “home users” aren’t going to be real pleased to find out all security fixes for their XP Home machines end at the end of the year. Fisher’s take:

I urge Microsoft to reconsider this stance. There should be considerably more overlap in support for their consumer OS. While five years of support for XP Home may have seemed reasonable when it was expected that there would be little more than three years between major OS updates, the time it has taken to bake Windows Vista has thrown this out entirely. If Vista launches in October, it would give users a mere two months to move to the OS, or risk being unsupported.

I suspect that Microsoft will grant a stay of execution for Windows XP Home, because the alternative is to create a PR nightmare that would also leave customers fuming.

The right answer is likely to treat all PC operating systems as “business” software, but the ball is in Microsoft’s court.

Update: In case you were wondering, although XP Media Center is a superset of XP Professional, it is considered as home software and support expires at the end of the year like XP Home. However, XP Tablet PC edition is classified as business software like XP Pro.



Filed under General Business, OS - Client, Obsolescence, Public Relations, Windows XP, XP Media Center, XP Tablet PC

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One Response to “XP Home support ends 12/31/2006”

  1. Microsoft News Tracker » Windows XP Home Support Extended Says:

    [...] You may recall the story last week that because Windows XP Home was “home” as opposed to “business” software, Microsoft mainstream product support was scheduled to expire on 12/31/2006. Greg Keizer at TechWeb News has apparently been keeping an eye on the Microsoft Lifecycle pages and discovered that Microsoft Extends XP Home Support To ‘08: Microsoft has quietly extended the support lifespan of Windows XP Home, which as recently as last week was scheduled to be put out to pasture at the end of this year. [...]

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