As per Microsoft Lifecycle of the product, mainstream support for Windows 2000 was already ended on June 30, 2005 and now the extended support is also about to expire on July 13, 2010. The same is for Windows XP SP2 which will end on the same day (although support for Windows XP SP3 will remain continued till April 8, 2014).
XP Users could relax for a little longer as XP SP3 support will remain continued till April 8, 2014 and only the support for XP SP2 is ending by July 13, 2010. If any more service comes then it will be continued to 24 months more.
Before the headline starts a panic, let us know about how Microsoft Support Life Cycle Policy works and what is going to change with the same date.
Microsoft Support consists of three phases:
With Microsoft Products, once your Mainstream Support expires, you will not be able for claim for warranty support, design changes or new feature requests. Non security hot fixes support will be available via a separate Extended Hot-fix Support Agreement only. Obviously, no more service pack, neither any new license purchase would be available.
Once, your extended support expires, you will not receive security updates or non security related hot-fixes and although the support knowledge base will remain available on site for self help, but one should not expect the content to be updated any more or MVPs to reply queries related to that product in official forums.
Its time to get into migration work for those IT managers (although I guess there must be only few), who might not yet migrated their Database Server/ File Servers/ Domain Controllers etc from Windows 2000 to Windows 2003 or Windows 2008 as having a server without updates security fixes meant to lots of vulnerabilities and is also against security compliances of audit requirements. Check the link in above text and also the migration checklist for the migration related information.
Moreover, it might be a hard time to spend more for those companies, which are yet relying on their older machines with 256MB RAMs and their IT managers are managing the support by keeping the machines with SP2 only for performance reasons.
Now, about our Windows XP Users, who resisted whole heartedly against Windows Vista and still resistance remained against Windows 7 in some way to keep Windows XP Professional continued, it might be their time to think, as even if away, the time will come when they will be forced to do the switch and sure, there are some good reasons to switch over Windows 7 as well.
Moreover, one must get used to the product before be forced to do so. Technology changes for better and you cant expect a manufacturer getting programmers new generation involved with the technology that passed on.
So, the tagline is “Don’t panic right now, but take a step for next future.”