Microsoft has announced extended support for Windows XP Home Edition and Windows XP Media Center Edition operating systems...
Microsoft has announced extended support for Windows XP Home Edition and Windows XP Media Center Edition operating systems, providing consumers with an additional phase of support.
With the addition of extended support, the support life cycle for Windows XP Home Edition and Windows XP Media Center Edition will include a total of five years of mainstream support, and five years of extended support, matching the support policy provided for Windows XP Professional.
The extended support, which starts after April 2009, will bring the two products on par with Microsoft's Windows XP Professional for businesses. Microsoft had previously reserved its five-year extended support feature to only enterprise-grade products.
Under Microsoft's support life cycle policy, consumers and businesses both receive mainstream support for their products. XP Home Edition and XP Media Center will see mainstream support end in April 2009, which includes paid support, security updates, design changes, and feature requests.
And once mainstream support expires, the five-year extended support is due to kick in. Previously, XP Home and XP Media Center consumers would migrate to self-help support for eight years, after their mainstream support ended.
The extended-support level includes roughly half of the eight features included in mainstream support. But those not included are design changes and feature requests, warranty claims, no-charge incident reports, and non-security hot-fix support, unless a user purchases an extended agreement within 90 days of the mainstream support expiring.
According to Microsoft, the phase for additional software support will provide consumers with service until 2014.
A company representative said that Microsoft has listened to customer feedback, and realized that providing security patches for Windows XP Professional, and not extending that support to the XP Home and XP Media Center Editions, was not a consistent approach. Microsoft is currently making the change for Windows XP Home Edition and Windows XP Media Center Edition only, and it is taking additional time to evaluate a permanent policy change that would apply to all consumer operating system versions.