Windows XP & Office 2003 mainstream support ends April 14

Just a quick reminder to Neowin users, both Windows XP and Office 2003 will leave mainstream support and enter extended support on April 14, 2009. This applies to the following Windows XP editions:

  • Windows XP Home
  • Windows XP Pro 32-bit and 64-bit
  • Windows XP Media Center Edition
  • Windows XP Tablet PC Edition

However, for ultra-low cost PCs like netbooks, Microsoft has set June 30, 2010 as the End-of-Sales date even though the general End-of-Sales date for Windows XP was February 28, 2009.

The last Service Pack for Office 2003, SP3 was released in September 2007. The Outlook 2003 Junk Email Filter will continue to receive updates with new junk email definitions through the end of the extended support phase.

The mainstream support phase for Microsoft products usually runs for 5 years after the release of the product. As per the Microsoft Support Lifecycle, mainstream support delivers free fixes for security patches and other bug fixes to everyone. Extended support delivers security updates to all users, but nonsecurity hot fixes are to be provided only to companies that have signed support contracts (purchase of Extended Hotfix Support Agreement and per-fix fees) with Microsoft. Self-help online support will continue to be available for a minimum of 12 months after the product reaches the end of its support lifecycle.

Extended support for both Windows XP and Office 2003 ends on April 8, 2014.

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Microsoft turned almost every product in a subscription based product and its STINK!.

Its a matter of time when people will take notice about it and will start demanding a change in the bad business practices of MS.

I have to laugh really. Our company still uses Windows XP, on PC's with 512Mb Ram!!!!! They are slow as a snail horrible to use. Glad I have a development PC thats much better but don't want to risk migrating a stable working environment to a Vista/Win7 environment. Untill I need a new PC I'll be sticking with Windows XP.

..but in the home I use Vista, and I like it. I've never had a BSOD. I have had the odd graphichs driver crash (Nvidia), but Vista just goes black for a few seconds then its back up and running, superb!. I used to be one of those, "ewww vista sucks!" but after using it I actually like it, as for windows 7 I can't wait for the release as I would happily pay for the upgrade!

Is funny the newest "feature" of vista where if a drive crash, its try to auto up the service. I turned a notebook from vista (where the driver crashed almost once x session) to xp and xp haven't such "feature", neither this notebook with xp hang or have a BSOD. May be we will stop calling as feature and relabeling as bug.

Hi, I've been using and programming computers since I was 15, I'm 33 now. That's to say that maybe I'm not too carried out by new software coming out. I definitely do not criticize Microsoft for stopping XP support, it is the logical thing to do. But I use XP. What I would like to ask you (and this is an honest question, with no secret agenda) is what are the technical reasons you have found to switch to Vista, and now to 7. This is not argumentative, I would like to know if I'm missing something good about the new OSs, or simply put: Why would you recommend me to use Vista or 7.

I have not seen a single application to the present date that will not work with XP and requires Vista to run. (Halo2 does not count for it was made by M$ and can run on XP with a little hack) :)

I going to sit with XP as the my main system. W7 seems about 20% slower on my setup.

Do not worry Vista/7/M$ fanboys! The next laptop that I will buy in a few years will have W7/Vista x64 on by default.

Udedenkz said,
I have not seen a single application to the present date that will not work with XP and requires Vista to run. (Halo2 does not count for it was made by M$ and can run on XP with a little hack) :)

I going to sit with XP as the my main system. W7 seems about 20% slower on my setup.

Do not worry Vista/7/M$ fanboys! The next laptop that I will buy in a few years will have W7/Vista x64 on by default.

i call VS then that you cliam windows 7 is 20% slower on your system when you have not posted your system specs.


also so what if ther is no application XP can run that does not need vista so what . i bet i could find a host of applications from 2004 that don't need windows XP to run and only require windows 98se so your Point being.


finally ditch the 8 year Old based on 14 year old technology and get with the program . i just installed for a 2nd system for a friend windows 7 beta on a AMD athlon XP 1800+ system running 1gig ram and a 6600 graphics card from nvidia on an nforce 2 and everything works great hell he is able to run HL2 and run it 24FPS more with windows 7 then he does windows XP with SP2 and SP3 tho SP3 did give him 8FPS more still windows 7 runs alot better on that system being as it was made to get the most of your hardware and more efficient at the same task in the background or so.

It is all about technology and since windows 7 is based on the same under working pluming set that runs vista it is far more hardware capable then XP is no matter if a Developer makes a driver for XP for the hardware or not.

Udedenkz said,
I have not seen a single application to the present date that will not work with XP and requires Vista to run. (Halo2 does not count for it was made by M$ and can run on XP with a little hack) :)

I going to sit with XP as the my main system. W7 seems about 20% slower on my setup.

Do not worry Vista/7/M$ fanboys! The next laptop that I will buy in a few years will have W7/Vista x64 on by default.

Yes, because the opinion of someone who recommends disabling Automatic Updates in their XP optimization guide really holds any weight. Get over yourself.

skynetXrules do you know where could I download those updates, since Im always formatting some computers and need update them all

@ kagura999

you would lose all update except security updates which they would support for the next five years

What exactly will happen to Windows updates? we'll lost all the non-critical upates after April 14? if yes then it really sucks...

kagura999 said,
What exactly will happen to Windows updates? we'll lost all the non-critical upates after April 14? if yes then it really sucks...

pwned, now you know how windows 2000 users feel like.

I actually think they'll still be there, there just won't be any future updates. Cause I can still use windows update with Windows 95-ME/2000.

*just tried with them, they're all still there. But ya, don't even expect future security updates if Microsoft is going to treat XP anything like their older OS's.

this is the part when i say "i told you so" to all my panicking friends who would not move on from xp. yep, better wait for windows 7 and have a go at it. we vista users are so much at home in windows 7 that there is no need to panic or fear the new OS.

If they start to phase out XP now, people will be forced to switch over to W7 regardless of whether they want to or not. If they do it when W7 comes out, then people will have time to sort their **** out and that'd put a 2-6 month delay on sales for W7 which looks terrible.

Basically a huge prep for W7. Yeah, screw you I'm calling it W7... it'll catch on and spread like wildfire.

If they drooped all support for XP right now, there are still those that would not let it go. Regardless of you feel about XP, why should anyone be FORCED off of it?

I am disappointed that mainstream support has ended, since I am actually an XP user, but at least we still get security updates and that's all that really matters, I guess. So long as there's no slacking on their half; i.e. only fixing big security holes, rather than all discovered.

mrp04 said,
Move on already its an 8 year old OS.

A) It's my prerogative to continue using their last acceptable operating system. B) Some of us don't have the good fortune to purchase a new computer with a new operating system. C) As pointed out, Windows XP is still the most popular operating system so why not support it (rhetorical question)?

Unfortunately we know why they aren't going to support it; because they want to force people into getting Windows 7 so that they get their reputation back (since Vista is what can only be described as a flop).

Anyway, I have five months of using an unsupported operating system and then am sorted with a Macintosh. I just wish the timing could have been better. :P

Yorkshireman said,
A) It's my prerogative to continue using their last acceptable operating system. B) Some of us don't have the good fortune to purchase a new computer with a new operating system. C) As pointed out, Windows XP is still the most popular operating system so why not support it (rhetorical question)?

Unfortunately we know why they aren't going to support it; because they want to force people into getting Windows 7 so that they get their reputation back (since Vista is what can only be described as a flop).

Anyway, I have five months of using an unsupported operating system and then am sorted with a Macintosh. I just wish the timing could have been better. :P


Dumb troll, GTFO.
P.S. Yeah Mac is perfect for you.

RealFduch said,
Dumb troll, GTFO.
P.S. Yeah Mac is perfect for you.

Ha! Well aren't you an educated fella. I feel I must follow your advice now. Thank you for your great insight.

Edit: Correct typo.

Yorkshireman said,
they want to force people into getting Windows 7 so that they get their reputation back (since Vista is what can only be described as a flop).

Vista was only a flop from a marketing standpoint. They made it out to be an OS it wasn't, until subsequent patches and updates (i.e. SP1) fixed up 99% of the common issues people have. If some people are still complaining to this day, then they either A) Haven't used Vista since their initial 1 day venture in early 2007, or B) They themselves are the problem.

Well, but why not just wait until officially release Windows 7 ??? specially that XP is still the MOST USED OS until NOW !

I can understand why people do not wish to upgrade to Vista with all the bad press Vista has had. To be far, I think that MS should support XP just a month or 2 after Windows 7 is released. At that point, they should end all support for it. Most people and companies are waiting for Windows 7. Right now is not a good time to stop support because users who want to have support will be forced to get a computer with Vista or Linux. If they go with Vista, why would they bother paying again to get Windows 7 on their computers at the end of the year or early next year?

^ windows 8 is expected to be around 2012-2013 & office 2013,if Microsoft stayed with there current life-cycle

skynetXrules said,
^ windows 8 is expected to be around 2012-2013 & office 2013,if Microsoft stayed with there current life-cycle

Windows 8? We don't even have Windows 7 yet. Hello!

non.sequitur2 said,
Windows 8? We don't even have Windows 7 yet. Hello!

And that's why he talks about basing it on their current development cycle plans.

"Extended support for both Windows XP and Office 2003 ends on April 8, 2014."

WTF, We'll have Windows 8 and Office 15 by then and who knows may even be beta tested Windows 9 and Office 16.

Move on for god sake and get with the times.

It's about time they started to move on from supporting XP. From what I see, quite a few people failed to actually read the article. They will still provide free security updates, but nothing more. With that said, end of support does not mean you can't use XP anymore. In the meantime, I've moved on from XP to Vista and 7, and I haven't looked back since.

xiphi said,
It's about time they started to move on from supporting XP. From what I see, quite a few people failed to actually read the article. They will still provide free security updates, but nothing more. With that said, end of support does not mean you can't use XP anymore. In the meantime, I've moved on from XP to Vista and 7, and I haven't looked back since.

Yep. I've done the same. I've had very few problems with Vista... actually, less than I have with XP.

yes its been 8yrs kirkburn but vista is pretty crap and windows 7 final aint even out yet so its a bit crazy ms stopping support now, they are trying to force businesses to move to vista then to windows 7. They should have stopped support for XP once windows 7 goes final at the very earliest. As for office 2003 there are alot of people that dont like the GUI including me and they didnt bother allowing users have an option of a "classic" office 2007 look incase they didnt like the new GUI so office users are also screwed.

Poor business sense by MS making their customers hate them. $hort term fix but long term harm for the company imo.

torrentthief said,
yes its been 8yrs kirkburn but vista is pretty crap and windows 7 final aint even out yet so its a bit crazy ms stopping support now, they are trying to force businesses to move to vista then to windows 7. They should have stopped support for XP once windows 7 goes final at the very earliest. As for office 2003 there are alot of people that dont like the GUI including me and they didnt bother allowing users have an option of a "classic" office 2007 look incase they didnt like the new GUI so office users are also screwed.

Poor business sense by MS making their customers hate them. $hort term fix but long term harm for the company imo.

That's your opinion about Vista. Granted, it's the opinion of a lot of people, but it's largely influenced by the media. If you're criticizing it, I have to assume you've already used it.

Whilst I'm hanging on with XP, this is no big loss - I'm not expecting MS to make non-security fixes, it's only fair.

I look forward to Windows 7 after trying twice to migrate to Shista (AKA Vista) and having a really bad time with it (I really do understand why it's been so unpopular, so many things I had problens with - not to mention the constant "not repsonding" issue which so many of my friends put up with)

Thanks MS for XP, lets hope you do it right with Windows 7 and we can't step over Shista.

mrp04 said,
How old is your computer? 6 years?

Less than 12 months, Dell XPS720, 4GB Ram, 2TB HD, Quad-Core etc etc - not a low spec.

Fact is, XP with SP3 is FASTER than Vista on any PC

Exosphere said,
Less than 12 months, Dell XPS720, 4GB Ram, 2TB HD, Quad-Core etc etc - not a low spec.

Fact is, XP with SP3 is FASTER than Vista on any PC

Except that's NOT a fact. Vista SP1 > XP SP3 on my hardware. Try again, kid.

thealexweb said,
Windows Server 2003 SP1 is going as well.

Windows Server 2003 has long been at SP2, do you ever bother visiting Windows Update or use Automatic Updates!?

StevenNT said,
Windows Server 2003 has long been at SP2, do you ever bother visiting Windows Update or use Automatic Updates!?

I know SP2 exists I was just saying SP1 is going unsupported.

Annoying, microsoft thinking only with their bank balances again:(

I use WinXP and also Office 2003, hope they decide to extend support and also release Office 2003 SP4 as its been over 18months since SP3 was released and there's alot of updates on windows update to download each time i format:(

torrentthief said,
alot of updates on windows update to download each time i format:(


yesterday I Installed the newest Ubuntu 8.10 and I got 184 updates after a clean install :-(

jamesVault said,
yesterday I Installed the newest Ubuntu 8.10 and I got 184 updates after a clean install :-(


I think they should extend the support indefinitely just because it's easily the best OS they've ever done, period!

torrentthief said,
Annoying, microsoft thinking only with their bank balances again:(

We're now 8 years since release. Eight YEARS.

As much as an advocator to XP as I am, lets think about this for a second. XP has long been a mature product, they're not talking about stopping all support, only mainstream, ie. the "I can't get it to work" general stuff. Critical fixes will still happen. I think that's okay, as XP has long proven it's got what it takes to "just work", unlike other O/S' that have been released in the past!

Notice how after each version of Windows, there are less service packs released?

Raa said,
XP has long proven it's got what it takes to "just work"

Only since 2004. XP was an unusable mess until SP2, which was almost an entirely new OS, akin to Windows 98SE, fixed up that shipwreck of an OS.

Once they release Windows 7, they should just kill off XP support for all but netbook users. Having support for one OS for 13 years is just crazy. It works but its time to move on. We have newer hardware that takes Vista and 7 like nothing. Its kinda like pushing the DTV transition past Obama's 1st term, just too far.

michael.dobrofsky said,
It's a double-edged sword. Yes, it's time to move on, but yes XP works just fine and upgrades for many people just don't make sense.


DOS works fine too. Your point?

If you will say: "XP has is much better GUI." Well, same for Vista, Vista/Win 7 has much better GUI. Your point?

FoxieFoxie said,
DOS works fine too. Your point?

If you will say: "XP has is much better GUI." Well, same for Vista, Vista/Win 7 has much better GUI. Your point?

Vista doesn't have a "better" GUI. BTW, XP can be made to look and act just like Vista as well.

Foub said,
BTW, XP can be made to look and act just like Vista as well.


To a certain extent. As they say, "always imitated, but never duplicated."

You can make the UI look like Vista, but some of the UI clumsiness in XP cannot be wiped away (i.e. all those balloons for wireless networks).

michael.dobrofsky said,
It's a double-edged sword. Yes, it's time to move on, but yes XP works just fine and upgrades for many people just don't make sense.

Show me where Microsoft says they'll support Windows indefinitely?

When you purchase Microsoft Windows - you are purchasing upfront a set period of support; you're not just buying a license, you're also buying a support contract. Quite frankly, 13 years support for a product that's around NZ$200 is pretty damn good value to the point that's making Microsoft executives cry.

FoxieFoxie said,
DOS works fine too. Your point?

If you will say: "XP has is much better GUI." Well, same for Vista, Vista/Win 7 has much better GUI. Your point?

It is not just the fact that XP has a better GUI than DOS, its that XP supports a lot larger range of applications than DOS. Vista and Windows 7 may have better GUIs than XP (I run the beta and have Vista Ultimate at home btw and love the new GUI). However, the true can't be said about the number of applications available for Vista/7 over XP. And it is the applications that people actually DO on their computer (not play with the OS eye candy).

Shadrack said,


It is not just the fact that XP has a better GUI than DOS, its that XP supports a lot larger range of applications than DOS. Vista and Windows 7 may have better GUIs than XP (I run the beta and have Vista Ultimate at home btw and love the new GUI). However, the true can't be said about the number of applications available for Vista/7 over XP. And it is the applications that people actually DO on their computer (not play with the OS eye candy).


Um... If you still got apps which don't work with Vista, I would drop them. Why? Seems like they are not under active development anymore...

Shunik Jan said,
Once they release Windows 7, they should just kill off XP support for all but netbook users. Having support for one OS for 13 years is just crazy. It works but its time to move on. We have newer hardware that takes Vista and 7 like nothing. Its kinda like pushing the DTV transition past Obama's 1st term, just too far.

XP is a stable and matured code base. I doubt the same could be said of vista or windows 7. In addition, all new hardware will run perfectly on it for years to come because of its huge install base.