Microsoft has used blog postings and Twitter feeds over the past few days to remind users that support for Windows XP Service Pack 2 and Windows 2000 will expire in July 2010, perhaps encouraging users of those aging operating systems to upgrade to Windows 7 if they choose to stay with a Microsoft operating system. Microsoft has created an end-of-support solution center for Windows 2000, and posted materials online designed to help users migrate from Windows XP to Windows 7.
has been busy reminding users that support for Windows 2000 and Windows XP
Service Pack 2 will end in July 2010, perhaps prodding those users committed to
staying with a Windows-based operating system to upgrade to Windows 7.
"Support for Windows XP SP2 will end on July 13, 2010, after which customers will need
to be on Windows XP SP3 to receive the support benefits available in the
Extended Support phase," a Microsoft spokesperson reiterated to eWEEK in
an e-mail on Dec. 8. "Support for Windows XP SP3 will continue until 24
months after the next service pack release or (if there are no additional
service packs) until Windows XP leaves the extended support phase on April 8, 2014."
Windows 2000 Server and Client support will also end on July 13, 2010. A Dec. 6 posting on Microsoft's
Springboard Series Blog
includes a link to the Windows XP to
Windows 7 Migration Guide
Microsoft has also created an End-of-Support
for Windows 2000, which can be found here.
"There is no supported migration path from Windows 2000 or Windows XP
to Windows 7 using the User State Migration Tool (USMT)," Stephen Rose, worldwide
community manager for Windows 7, wrote in the Dec. 6 posting on the Springboard
Series Blog. "You must first upgrade to Windows XP and then migrate to
Windows 7 with USMT 4.0 included with the Windows Automated Installation Kit
The User State
Migration Tool (USMT)
for Windows 7 is used to port user profiles and data
over to the new operating system from the old. It is now part of the Windows
Automated Installation Kit.
Rose's statement seemed strange to one commenter on the Springboard Series
Blog, given how there is no clear migration path between Windows XP and Windows
7 (there is one, however, between Windows Vista and Windows 7). However, Rose
responded to that commenter that he did, in fact, mean Windows XP.
"Windows 2000 is not considered an upgradeable program to Windows
7," Rose replied in the blog's comments section. "If clients want to
purchase an upgrade to Windows 7, they must be on Windows XP or Windows Vista.
Windows XP compatibility is closer to Windows 2000 than Windows 7, so the
statement makes sense."
Microsoft-related Twitter feeds, such as OEM
(OEMSystemBuildr on Twitter
have been posting tweets lately about the old operating systems' service
According to a report by research firm Forrester, Windows
XP powered 80 percent of all commercial PCs on the eve of Windows 7's Oct. 22
. However, the ages of both the operating system and business users'
computers have continued to rise over the past few years, increasing pressure
for a widespread tech refresh.
"When the recession hit, one of the very first levers that IT managers
pulled to lower their IT costs was to extend the life of their existing
desktops from four to five years and laptops from three to four years,"
Forrester analyst Benjamin Gray wrote in an October research note. "Many
more have held off on refreshing their systems even longer because they're
looking to tie in their PC upgrade with their Windows 7 deployment."
In an Oct. 13 presentation, research firm Gartner suggested that a
generalized lack of XP support from independent software vendors (ISVs) would
start around the end of 2011, with a support "XP danger zone"
developing at the end of 2012.
Surveys taken over the summer seem to correlate with Gartner's and
Forrester's recent findings that, while interested in refreshing their
equipment, enterprises and SMBs may hold off until 2010 due to a lack of
IT-related funds. In an Oct. 12 report, Jefferies & Co. analyst Katherine
Egbert suggested that a "Win7-inspired upgrade cycle can start in late
2010 and run through early 2013," with new hardware purchases preceding
software upgrades by around six months.
an Oct. 23 earnings call
, Microsoft indicated that revenue for its Windows
division in 2010 and beyond would be closely correlated with overall PC growth.