Tuesday, May 11, 2010

End of Support for Windows 2000, XP SP2, and Vista RTM

Microsoft is ending support for some of its operating systems this year. Microsoft already ended support for Vista RTM on April 13, 2010. For those still using Windows Vista without SP1 or later will not be able to get further updates on their computer. To continue getting updates via Windows Update, users should simply download Service Pack 2 for Windows Vista.


If, for some bizarre reason, you are still using Windows 2000; support will end for all versions (RTM through SP5) on July 13, 2010. This means that all versions for Windows 2000 will no longer be updated through Windows Update, regardless if you have the most recent Service Pack. In order to continue getting updates users will need to upgrade to a supported Windows operating system: Windows XP SP3 (no longer sold in retail or on new PCs), Windows Vista SP1, or Windows 7.


Finally, support for Windows XP SP2 will end on July 13, 2010 as well. The simple remedy for this is similar to Windows Vista; download the latest Service Pack (SP3) to continue to receive updates through Windows Update.


Why is this important?


One of the easiest ways to ensure that users don’t get viruses on their PCs is to simply run Windows Update at least once a week. This allows for certain security updates (among other types of updates) to be installed before an attack may occur on that particular PC. Not having these updates can significantly increase the chance of getting a virus on the computer.


For those still using Windows 2000 or even XP may want to upgrade to a newer operating system. I use and recommend Windows 7. It offers the most secure environment along with some nice end user improvements especially for those moving from Windows 2000. It may not be an easy switch, especially on older PCs; however, it is definitely worth it in the long run.



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