Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Adios Windows 2000 and XP (SP2), It Was Fun While It Lasted

Today marks the end of support for Windows XP with Service Pack 2 and Windows 2000 (all versions), which means if you’re running one of these editions of Windows, be sure to update to a later version.
Of course, users of Windows XP SP2 could easily just install Service Pack 3 and have continue support; however, for those who are running Windows 2000, well, it’s over. Windows 2000 had a nice long run and now it’s time to put it out to pasture.

Really, this does mark a time for me. I clearly remember the amazingness that Windows 2000 was and could have been. Recall that Windows 2000 was originally slated to be what Windows XP was, the merging of the Windows NT code with Windows 9x. However, for many reasons, Microsoft ditched those efforts with Windows 2000 (originally codenamed Windows NT 5.0) and waited to implement the major change with Windows XP.

Windows XP, of course, isn’t dead yet, though as far as I’m concerned it is. According to Mary Jo Foley, Windows XP is even getting a reprieve from Microsoft. “Customers who purchase Windows 7 Professional or Ultimate with a computer will be able to continue their downgrade rights until January 2015 (Windows 7 Professional) or January 2020 (Windows 7 Ultimate).” Of course, I still recommend purchasing Windows 7 and keeping it that way (i.e. don’t downgrade), as Windows XP is getting old in the legs. After all, it is now almost ten years after the initial release of Windows XP, get with the times.

If you are currently running Windows XP with SP2 or earlier, you should consider at least downloading and installing the latest Service Pack from Microsoft, or upgrading to the latest version of Windows 7. If you’re running Windows 2000, you can either continue to do so, with running the risk of having an unprotected system, or you can upgrade to Windows 7, or some other version of Windows as well.

Update: Ed Bott correctly notes that the correct death year for Windows XP SP3 will actually be in 2014, not 2020. This is due to the fact that around 2014 Windows 7 will cease to be sold, thus allowing businesses who purchase Windows 8 to downgrade to Vista or 7. No longer will they be able to downgrade to Windows XP at around this date. I highly encourage you to check out Ed's post at ZDNet for the real scoop.


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