Still Running Windows XP Service Pack 1?

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Microsoft will end support for Windows XP Service Pack 1 on October 10 and recommends that SP1 users immediately upgrade to Windows XP SP2.

The Microsoft Support Lifecycle Service Pack support policy for Windows XP SP1 ends Tuesday, according to the company's Web site.

Microsoft initially planned to end support for Windows XP SP1 on September 17, 2006, two years after Windows XP SP2 was released. Earlier this year, however, Microsoft shifted the final support date for SP1 to October 10.

And Vista Is Coming

Microsoft typically provides 12 months of support for service packs, but it will extend that support period for products it thinks customers need extra help and time to install.

For its consumer products, Microsoft usually provides five years of mainstream support. Business customers and developers typically get ten years of support--five of mainstream support and five of what is called "extended" support.

In addition, Microsoft expects to release the next major upgrade to the Windows OS, Windows Vista, to business customers next month, and to consumers in January 2007. Though the release has been delayed several times, the general consensus among analysts is that Microsoft will hit its latest release target for Vista.

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