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Microsoft ends mainstream XP, Office 2003 support

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Microsoft retired mainstream support for Windows XP and Office 2003 today - but that doesn’t necessarily mean anyone should be in a hurry to upgrade to Vista yet.

The firm will continue to offer extended support packages on both products through to 8 April 2014, allowing businesses and individuals plenty of time to consider their options before plumping for a new operating system.

From today Redmond will charge XP and Office 2003 customers who need assistance on a per-incident, per hour, or alternative basis. The changes apply to all editions of the Office suite as well as all versions of XP with the exception of Embedded.

Non-security critical fixes will be available to those punters who signed up to Microsoft’s Extended Hotfix Support program 90 days before mainstream support was killed off.

Security updates will be pumped out free of charge for Office 2003 and XP until 4 August 2014.

Microsoft released Service Pack 3 for XP in April last year, while the third service pack for Office 2003 landed in September 2007.

Any customers that bought a computer with the eight-year old XP pre-loaded onto the system will need to contact their OEM for support.

Microsoft also sounded the death knell for Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 support today. In effect, the company wants users to upgrade to SP2 of the product.

Meanwhile, Microsoft wonks are hard at work with the vendor's forthcoming wake-up-Dorothy-Vista-was-just-a-bad-dream OS, Windows 7, which many speculate will rock up later this year. ®

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