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Win XP SP2 support to cease in two months

The beginning of the end

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Overtime looms for developers and sys admins alike in the run-up to Microsoft's plans to stop supporting Windows XP SP2 and Windows 2000 from 13 July.

The many enterprise users still running XP desktops, often tied to proprietary software, have two months to upgrade to windows XP SP3 if they want security patches and support.

Microsoft’s Extended Support for XP runs until April 8, 2014, at which point the operating system will finally be put out to pasture. By that point the operating system, released in August 2001, will be approaching 13 years old.

Patches and support for Windows 2000 (desktop and server) also cease on 13 July. Microsoft advises users to upgrade to Windows 7, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008.

Windows XP SP2 (released in 2004) turned on a built-in firewall bundled with the operating system by default, helping to thwart the spread of internet worms such as Blaster and Nimda which caused all sort of problems in the early noughties.

Vulnerability scanning firm Qualys reckons 50 per cent of Windows XP machines in enterprise land are running SP2, USA Today reports, so the task ahead will be huge.

Microsoft's line on the upcoming end of support for Windows XP SP2 can be found here. ®

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