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Microsoft To Drop Support for XP SP1

Microsoft will discontinue all public support of Windows XP Service Pack 1 (SP1) on Oct. 10.

After that date, no new security patches or hotfixes will be released for the aging operating system's first service pack, which has been superseded by SP2. All incident support will end that day as well. In order to continue receiving support, customers will need to be updated to SP2.

The move, which has been expected, comes on the heels of Microsoft ending all support for Windows 98 (both First and Second Editions) and Millennium Edition on July 11.

While the company provides a total of 10 years of mainstream and extended support for its business products, that doesn't apply for individual service packs.

The company's stated policy for service packs is that, "when a service pack is released, Microsoft will provide 12 months of support for the previous service pack...Support may be extended to 24 months for those service packs when Microsoft believes customers will need additional time for testing and deployment."

Windows XP SP2 was released on Sept. 17, 2004.

Earlier this week, Microsoft announced it is restructuring its custom support agreements to make them more flexible for customers who cannot migrate off older products in time for lifecycle support cutoff dates.

Why Oct. 10 instead of the first of the month? Because the 10th is "Patch Tuesday" -- the day Microsoft releases all of its security patches for the month. So that is the last day that any patches for XP SP1 will ship.

About the Author

Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.