Monthly Archives: March 2009

Windows XP Mainstream Support Coming To An End!

XP Users Face Tough Call: Upgrade or Wait?
What’s a person to do?

Planning to save a few bucks by holding onto your Windows XP desktop and Office 2003? You’d better consider your support options, because Microsoft has confirmed it’s ending mainstream support for Office 2003, Exchange 2003 and XP on April 14th.

When mainstream support ends, so will bug fixes and service packs for that software. Microsoft will provide security updates until 2014, but only if it deems the flaw to be critical.

Customers can buy a premier support program and an extended support agreement separately for each product directly from Microsoft. I couldn’t find pricing on these options but I’d bet it will cost far more than most of us would be willing to pay.

Microsoft’s decision to end mainstream support has angered some, who see the move as an attempt to force upgrades to inferior products. Windows Vista – with its compatibility issues and cumbersome user access controls – has been a nonstarter for most businesses. Office 2007’s sweeping user interface changes have confounded some users and caused much confusion with the new .docx format and the inability of Office 2003 users to open files created with Office 2007.

Windows 7, the successor to Vista, is expected to arrive late this year or early 2010. Steve Ballmer has said Windows 7 with be “the best version of Windows ever,” built for simplicity, reliability and speed. (Didn’t they say that about Vista just a few short years ago?) Windows 7 promises to boot more quickly, allow longer battery life on Laptops and require fewer alerts.

Just a week ago, Ballmer said Windows 7 will be available for Netbooks also, those low cost, mini laptops with limited features on which XP and Linux are the dominate operating systems today.

It’s  projected that Microsoft will finalize the code for Windows 7, now in beta, by June or July and, although it won’t be here this year, the next version of Office, code-named Office 14, should come our early next year (2010).

Officially, Microsoft has said only that it will have Windows 7 on the market by next January, the three-year anniversary of Windows Vista’s mainstream launch. However, the company has been aiming to have it out in time to be on PCs that ship during this year’s holiday shopping season.

Financial analysts are saying that the release of Windows 7 will allow Microsoft to earn $1.5 billion in additional revenue, with nearly $1 billion coming from the upgrade market and as much as $680 million possible if Microsoft is able to increase the number of premium versions of Windows being used on Netbooks.

Check out the latest information on Windows 7:

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