Microsoft is warning customers that support for some older versions of the Windows operating system will end in the first half of this year.
Support for Windows Vista RTM (i.e., Vista with no service packs), ends April 13. Support for Windows XP SP2 and all versions of Windows 2000 ends July 13. Also on the latter date, Microsoft will end support for Windows Server 2000.
The termination of official support for the products means Microsoft will no longer issue security updates for them. Also on July 13, Microsoft will move Windows Server 2003 from Mainstream Support to Extended Support.
Under Extended Support, Microsoft no longer provides no-charge incident response, warranty coverage, or design changes and feature requests.
"Back in October 2009 we talked about upcoming dates for end of support for certain Windows XP and Windows Vista versions," said Brandon LeBlanc, Microsoft's in-house Windows blogger, in a post Wednesday.
"Those dates are getting closer and this is the time to remind customers running these versions that there is a need to take action," said LeBlanc.
"We recommend that those of you still on Windows XP SP2 install the latest service pack available via the Microsoft Update Web site—Windows XP Service Pack 3—or look at moving to Windows 7," LeBlanc said.
"Keeping your PC up to date and as safe as possible is something that people need to think about beyond just being on the latest service pack," LeBlanc wrote.
"I want to remind everyone of the benefits of keeping Windows Update turned on. Through Windows Update, not only are you provided with the latest security updates and service packs for Windows at no cost, but also the latest updates to products such as Internet Explorer 8 and Microsoft Security Essentials," he added.
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