Professional support has been extended to 2011 (Home Edition, to 2008).
Microsoft will Ship All Vista Bits with Each Product Edition
Although Microsoft will market several Vista product editions, or SKUs, the company will distribute one version of the product's DVD providing the code for all product editions on each disc. That way, users will be able to unlock functionality from higher-end Vista editions at a later date, after paying for the upgrade privilege. The change in plans, which was first reported by "CRN," means that Microsoft will need to maintain only a single Vista master disk image rather than the multiple images that would otherwise be required. Each time a Vista edition is upgraded, Microsoft will provide an updated product key, as each product edition requires different product key sequences. At that point, your old product key will be invalidated so it can't be used on a different system. Say what you will, but this new scheme makes a lot of sense, given the sheer number of email messages I get about upgrading one edition of XP to another. And with Vista, we'll see even more product editions, each with its own specific set of features.
Windows XP Home Edition Support Extended to at Least Late 2008
For the past 2 weeks, the Windows community has been buzzing with news that Microsoft was scheduled to halt support for XP Home at the end of this year. (Apparently, Microsoft never expected that its next Windows release would take so long to ship.) Well, the crisis is over.
Microsoft this week revealed that it has extended support for XP Home (and a few other XP editions whose support was also scheduled to be terminated this year) to "2 years after the next version of [Windows Vista] is released," according to the company. If Vista ships on schedule at the end of the year, that means that Microsoft will continue supporting XP Home through late 2008. That's not too shabby. Note that Microsoft's business-oriented Windows products have much lengthier support life cycles. Microsoft is supporting XP Professional, for example, through 2011.
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