The end result is that Windows XP Home will leave Mainstream Support and enter online support on January 1, 2007—in less than a year.
When that day comes, XP Home users may feel left out in the cold, because they will no longer qualify for security updates, and will not be able to purchase support from Microsoft. Finding this situation somewhat alarming, I contacted Microsoft's representation to clarify the matter. A Microsoft spokesman relayed the following to me:
"For consumer products, security updates will be available through the end of the mainstream phase. For Windows XP Home Edition, there will be no security updates after 12/31/06." Regarding paid support for problems unrelated to security patches, I was told that "Users who want to continue to receive support after the Microsoft assisted and paid support offerings have ended may visit the Retired Product Support Options Web site."
Is this a journalist just trying to write a story about nothing or is MS going to ditch XP Home ensuring home consumers have to buy Vista and get the cash tills ringing at Redmond.....
I suspect that Microsoft will grant a stay of execution for Windows XP Home, because the alternative is to create a PR nightmare that would also leave customers fuming. Citing emerging markets in the past, Microsoft extended support for Windows 98 and ME by more than two years, and this decision was made long after Windows XP was released. Microsoft should extend support for Windows XP Home well into 2008. Otherwise users will have to hope that updates to XP Professional meet their needs, but it remains unclear if Windows Update will point XP Home users to updates to XP Professional.
Edited by stidyup, 04 January 2006 - 08:24 AM.