If you happen to use Windows XP and Office 2003, you should be informed that all support for both pieces of software will dry up in a couple of years’ time. As for mainstream support for another two entities, Windows Vista and Office 2007, those will end by the time this weekend arrives. Basically, Microsoft has carved up their support lifecycle into a couple of stages – “Mainstream” and “Extended.” In the Mainstream phase, the software will receive the entire gamut of free security updates, stability improvements, bug fixes, and on occasion, new features. As for the Extended phase, only security updates will be made available freely, although companies that fork out money for support contracts will be able to receive other fixes.

Just to recap, Windows XP and Office 2003 are right now running on Extended support, and as the expected date arrives in 2014, they too, will no longer be on the receiving end of security updates. Having said that, whoever cheeky enough to develop malware for both software will not see Microsoft issue fixes, but then again, do you see yourself running on Windows XP by the time 2014 rolls around? As for Windows Vista and Office 2007, they will remain in Extended support from now until April 2017.

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