Microsoft has issued use-by deadlines for more Windowsproducts - meaning full support for them will soon cease. End of support meansthat customers need to upgrade to a supported service pack to continue toreceive security updates, hotfixes or assisted support from Microsoft CustomerService & Support.
Windows Vista with no service packs installed will reach endof support on April 13th, 2010. WindowsXP SP2 will reach the end of support on July 13th, 2010. Also on July 13th, alleditions of Windows Server 2003 will move from the Mainstream Support phase toMicrosoft's Extended Support phase. This means that free-of-charge supportoptions are no longer available and that Microsoft will not provide hotfixesfor any future issues other than those relating to security.
If you’re currently running one of those operating systemson your computer, you need to upgrade it. Otherwise you’ll no longer get thoseautomatic updates that help to keep your computer running properly and safefrom online intruders. If something goes wrong in future with one of the olderoperating systems, you may not get any help from Microsoft and instead have togo onto technical forums in the hope of finding someone who knows how to fixyour problem.
For affected Vista and XP users, Microsoft recommends thatthose not ready to move to Windows 7 should at the least upgrade to the latestservice pack for their operating system – either SP2 for Vista or SP3 forWindows XP. More information about this is available here. A service pack installationis not expensive, and should do the trick for anyone whose Web use is confinedto a few emails and light surfing on regular Web sites. NB: Anyone who does anysort of financial transaction online should ensure their operating system andall protection are right up to date.