Microsoft extends support for XP editions

Microsoft is adding 'Extended Support' for two consumer editions of Windows XP: Home and Media Center, in line with its support strategy for XP Professional.

Microsoft is adding 'Extended Support' for two consumer editions of Windows XP: Home and Media Center.

The change will provide an additional five years of support for users of the operating system who will not be upgrading any time soon, up to 2016, and it matches the support policy already provided for Windows XP Professional.

Essentially, Microsoft is ensuring that all consumer users of XP will continue to get security patches, long after its new, shiny cousin, Windows Vista, has been rolled out.

'Mainstream Support' expires in April 2009, but 'Extended Support' now adds another five years. While the Extended Support includes security updates it does not include any warranty claims, non-security hot-fixes or design changes - though what design changes Microsoft would be introducing to Windows XP Home by 2009 is hard to imagine.

Essentially, Microsoft is often attacked over the weakness of Windows security and the prospect that a section of its user base remained unpatched - sitting targets for ever evolving worm and malware attacks - is not a desirable prospect.

"Microsoft has listened to customer feedback and realised that providing security patches for Windows XP Professional and not extending that support to the XP Home and XP Media Center Editions was not a consistent approach," said a company spokesperson.

"Therefore Microsoft is currently making the change for Windows XP Home Edition and Windows XP Media Center Edition only."

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