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Support Ends for XP Service Pack 1

Still running Windows XP Service Pack 1? Then there's bad news: Microsoft officially ended support for SP1 and SP1a on Tuesday, Oct. 10.

Microsoft normally retires support for an older service pack 12 months after a new service pack comes out -- or, as in this case, 24 months later. That extension only occurs when Microsoft believes that customers will take longer to test and deploy a new service pack, according to the company. (Newer SPs incorporate patches and changes from previous ones.)

In this case, Windows XP Service Pack 2 came out in September 2004.

One of the main impacts ending support has is that the company will no longer provide security patches for new critical holes found in SP1. Documentation and help files will still be available via the Microsoft Support Product Solution Center Web site.

Windows 98 and Windows Millennium Edition both ended extended support in July. The company urges any users still on XP SP1 to upgrade to SP2, which will be supported until it too has been superseded.

Indeed, although Windows Vista is about to ship, Microsoft does plan to issue a third service pack for XP. “SP3 for Windows XP Professional is currently planned for 2H [the second half of] 2007,” according to Microsoft lifecycle policy documents online.

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.