October 9, 2006 10:40 AM PDT

Support ending for Windows XP SP1

Microsoft will end support for Windows XP Service Pack 1 and SP1a on Tuesday, leaving people no option but to upgrade to Service Pack 2 if they wish to continue to receive crucial components, including security software.

The move to drop support for SP1 is in line with Microsoft's stated strategy for support. According to its guidelines, Microsoft guarantees to provide "mainstream support" for a full product for five years, but will only guarantee to support a service pack for 12 months after the launch of the next version of that pack.

SP1 shipped in September 2002. SP2 was released in September 2004.

There's little reason for anyone to still be running SP1; SP2 contained a range of improvements to XP's security. People can check which version they are running by right-clicking on the My Computer desktop icon and then selecting properties.

The ending of support for SP1 will help Microsoft to clear the decks for the arrival of Vista, which is expected to be released to business customers next month and to consumers in January.

In July, Microsoft ended support for Windows 98 and ME.

Colin Barker of ZDNet UK reported from London.

See more CNET content tagged:
service pack, Service Pack 2, Microsoft Corp., security, Microsoft Windows XP


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The simple truth.
The vast, vast majority of end users of the two main operating
systems in the home and business (Windows and OS X) NEVER
upgrade their computers unless they are forced to. They will
continue to use the OS that came with their computer come hell or
high water. They are simply too scared and incompetent to do
anything else. They aren't even aware of security issues until they
are bitten in the arse with one.
Posted by lkrupp (1608 comments )
Reply Link Flag
very true (at work anyway)
We just upgraded 2 weeks ago at work to SP2 (and I'm still having
"issues" because of it).
Posted by imacpwr (456 comments )
Link Flag
It also has to do with money
upgrades cost money and as long as what you have works and isn't
costing you money in lost productivity why change it? I am a civilian
and military computer tech so I am not by any means "scared and
incompetent" when it it comes to computers. However there are
many times I find that the cost to purchase an upgrade just isn't
worth it. But that only applies to me personally, when it come to
the client I will upgrade them anytime they are willing to pay for it.
Posted by jones_8099 (177 comments )
Link Flag
Nothing is simple with a Microsoft Upgrade
unless you have a plain vanilla set of officially sanctioned Microsoft software suite. Those of us who make a living with a computer cringe each time an update comes out wondering if the next one will obsolete the hardware and/or software.
As small business person, I have to watch each dollar and upgrades do not always pay back in benefits.
I resent someone calling me simple or stupid. I have made a living for thirty years many of them helping people survive Microsoft upgrades or helping pick up the pieces after they do try to upgrade..
It took me three days to rebuild one computer after an upgrade from SP 1 to SP 2.
Posted by David Stamps (6 comments )
Link Flag
Incompetent?!? I resent that...
Most HOME users do not trust upgrades- and why should they? How many times have upgrades came out, only to find out after the user has upgraded, that there are "major flaws" in the upgrade? Of course, you can do another upgrade to repair what was screwed up by the "oh so wonderful" previous upgrade IF your pc isn't too screwed up to work properly... now THAT'S the "SIMPLE TRUTH".
Posted by Dulcinea_Lady (1 comment )
Link Flag
So true......
I used to work for this "tech" company where the idiot CEO used to call his editors "industry
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.teckmagazine.com/content/view/690/43/" target="_newWindow">http://www.teckmagazine.com/content/view/690/43/</a>
experts" when they would do nothing but cut and paste all day. As you would expect, the CEO began stealing money and now the company is on the brink of bankruptcy. Ahhh, typical U.S. tech company. Oh, and they didn't know squat about tech either which was a another reason.
Posted by cnutsucks (25 comments )
Link Flag
Simple truth
Why should they give in to upgrading, when all they usually have to do is save the old updates to disk, and reformat the drive. So simple, same user friendly interface. No new problems. Save the stuff you want to a clean disk. Get a good firewall, and an updating virus program, and let the others find new problems. hard right. Don't put them down because its simple, easy and less money out of their pocket. They are looking for no 1 so don't slap at them. You may be there some day.
Posted by jbu1 (1 comment )
Link Flag
Oh Well!
I haven't upgraded to SP2. Too many friends have had horror stories upgrading and I for one don't have any spare time to reload all my software after a crashed hard drive like my friends, who two of which were guided by proffesionals.
Posted by edczachor (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Here, Here
Ever noticed that the greatest Winblows users, never, ever have a problem with it. Then call the rest of us users dirt bags, because we do and have had many problems with Winblows.
Posted by NoMoreMS (10 comments )
Link Flag
Says who?
"There's little reason for anyone to still be running SP1; SP2 contained a range of improvements to XP's security."

Possibly all well and good, but according to who? (or whom?)

This reads like it was lifted from a press release or something.

Though it is refreshing to get a break from the normal Microsoft-bashing reporting that C|NET usually goes for.
Posted by TV James (680 comments )
Reply Link Flag
HP - Before Upgrading...
With my HP computer, before upgrading to SP1, and before upgrading to SP2, I had to go to HP's web site, and download some HP-specific patches for the upgrade. While I was at it, I installed every other available HP software update, just to be on the safe side.

It was a pain, but both SPs installed and operated without any problems.
Posted by john55440 (1020 comments )
Reply Link Flag
No big deal
Ooo-kay, support for SP1 is ending....

I don't see why others are making such a big deal about it. Really.

All software companies do this (phase-out the old stuff) of late, but it's Microsoft that gets the attention because it has the biggest audience of users AND consequently has more to gain by calling for the upgrade. I'm not a huge fan of the "upgrade or die" logic; it costs time and money I don't have.

SP2 did bring a lot of security improvements, but let's not forget that to make those improvements, Microsoft nearly rewrote the entire OS. The cost of the rewrite is tremendous; SP2 places a heavier load on systems than does any prior version, and bult-in dummyproofing/security features backfire on otherwise useful programs.

I'm normally very pro-Apple, but they aren't much different in the upgrade arena. In 18 months, Apple released 8 major patch packs for the current OS X 10.4, plus a complete rewrite and four major patch packs for a new platform altogether. And in developing for this new platform, Apple drove the final nail in OS 9's casket. Mac zealots are still confused as to why Apple cut them off.

And it gets scarier for Mac users from there. Upon releasing a new OS X iteration, Apple immediately drops support for whatever was en vogue before the last major release; and with this, one or more model lines are forever dropped from its OS X HCL. Adding to the pain is the cost of a new license (~$144 where I am) plus some apps.

Yet, Mac users don't seem to mind. They're generally happy about their computers, their OS, and their overall experience.

As a user of both platforms, I've come to realize that phase-outs are normal in this age. Either you roll with 'em or stay behind. Either way, it will hurt, but in the end, there's no reason to whine about it.

Posted by redmage0326 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
I would assume that this will allow MS to direct more resources to supporting SP2 and the new Vista...this is good isn't it?
Posted by KsprayDad (375 comments )
Link Flag
Don't upgrade, crossgrade
As a former Mac user, I'm aware of how annoying upgrades can be. After upgrading my Mac in-place a number of times, I know of how the upgrade process can lead to more system crashes and lower performance. I've never tried upgrading Windows, but from the comments here it might be fraught with more danger than is necessary.

When I got sick of Apple's upgrade path, I decided to crossgrade to Ubuntu 5.10. It definately extended the working life of my old computer and didn't cost me anything. It provided all the security patches I needed, and of course all my existing files and programs were available for use whenever I booted up Mac OS. (the same happens with Windows)

The current version of Ubuntu is supported on the desktop for 3 years, and on servers for 5 years. You can upgrade to a later version when one comes out, or stay on it until/after support runs out. Upgrading is free, and in my experience it is absolutely painless. Ubuntu pulls the new packages from the internet, installs them, and after you reboot you've got the latest version.

It might be of some interest to people who want to keep using their current computers, even if they eventually get a new computer to run Vista.
Posted by 3rdalbum (287 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Say it were any other kind of product
Consider what an uproar there would be if GM or Honda were to announce they would no longer fix or supply parts for vehicles they manufactured prior to 2003!

[http://Even though I quite agree that anyone who has failed to upgrade to SP2, and who has access to the internet, is either too foolish or incompetent to be allowed to have a computer.|http://Even though I quite agree that anyone who has failed to upgrade to SP2, and who has access to the internet, is either too foolish or incompetent to be allowed to have a computer.]
Posted by MikeyD215 (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Not a good comparison
But MS will continue to supply SP2 to those who are still running SP1 after they drop support. You have a choice... upgrade to SP2 or no longer receive updates. This doesn't match your analogy of no car support for cars manufactured prior to 2003. You have a choice... install a free upgrade and continue to recieve support, or don't get support. I agree with you that anyone not updating to SP2 is foolish.
Posted by Seaspray0 (9714 comments )
Link Flag
use common sense
Mikey stated it correctly. I contacted my local Chevy dealer looking for an alternator (for a 1990 Chevy Lumina APV - 17/18 yrs old). It was not in stock, but an OEM replacement was avail at the dealership the next morn. Manufacturers support their products for MORE THAN 5 YRS. Software co support their products for 5 YRS OR LESS.

NOTE: as a comp tech, I have dealt w/ MANY computers that DID ALL updates to MSWindows (MOST had to be fdisk'ed/reformatted to eliminate the damage done by "MSWindows updates" - because "updates" CANNOT easily be removed - even w/ a prg like GoBack or Restore). W/ my own systems, if a problem was encountered, I ONLY d/l the necessary file.

NOTE: I run MSDOS 6.22 {1}, MSWindows95 {1}, MSWindows98SE {7}, MSWindows2000Workstation {1}, MSWindows2000Server {1}, MSWindowsXPPro (NO SP) {1} on 12 of my comp - I did not list my non-MS comp or servers (Linux &#38; SGI Irix) - NO MS system can reach a non-MS machine (let MS try to share w/ a Linux or Irix server &#38; prepare to go bald fixing the MS errors). The systems able to access the WWW are protected by both hardware/software anti-virus, firewall, &#38; anti-spyware.

If General Motors (Chevrolet) can provide parts for a 17/18 yr old vehicle, WHY CAN'T MS provide fixes to an OS that is 11 yrs old (MSWindows95 - 1,000's of uncorrected errors) or an OS that is 8 yrs old (MSWindows98SE - 1,000's of uncorrected errors) or an OS that is 6 yrs old (MSWiindowsME - more errors/uncorrected errors than can be counted) or an OS that is 5 yrs old (MSWindowsXP - SP's have NOT corrected all errors).

MS, obviously, discontinues support/fixes for an OS in order to FORCE users to upgrade to the "latest &#38; greatest" even though the "latest &#38; greatest" WILL have problems (of course, NOT ALL of the problems will be resolved before support is discontinued) &#38; of course, the "latest &#38; greatest" may or may not support the "older" software that you want to use.

NOTE: I am an MS OEM partner (customers like to see the certificate).

This pattern of SUPPORT (OR LACK OF), DOES NOT show any reason as to why I should upgrade!! If NOT for certain prgs, I would be happy w/ MSDOS 6.22 (as a repair tech/web designer, etc, I have to use some current prgs).
Posted by the-logical-one (4 comments )
Link Flag
Service Packs
First off, those who do not upgrade, at least immediately, are the smart ones. Every service pack that MS has released has had bugs. I for one make a living on my computer and I certainly don't need an upgrade that is going to make my applications or devices incompatible or error out. If you do wish to keep up on the upgrades, wait 6 months and let them work out the bugs first. However, please note that some bugs never go away and MS OS's are famous for once things go in, they don't come out. A prudent computer user realizes this and doesn't run to install the next service pack when it is available. Anyone who considers this foolish or incompetent, I don't want touching my computers.

Ever hear the old saying, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it"? I am here to tell you that I have living proof of the best way to go. For years now, as an experiment, I have been running a copy of Windows XP Pro, the original OS with no service packs. This has been installed on my wife's computer and every time I have done a major upgrade on her computer, I put this plain old copy back on. My computer is up to date with SP2. Guess which computer is more compatible with programs/games, USB connections and just about anything we can throw at it? You guessed it, the one with plain old XP. Take it for what it's worth, but anyone who asks me, I tell them this and let them make up their own mind.

Worried about all the security crap? Just keep your firewall, anti-virus and other detection programs up to date and let them be your shield. It's worked for us so far.

So all you with your theories that upgrading is the only way to go, can have your upgrades. I have living proof of the difference, I don't have to guess.
Posted by x05Stooge (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Amen Stooge
I don't think you're a stooge at all. Your comment contains wisdom and science, which is more often disparate than not these days. Thank you for illuminating the facts. I feel stupid now that I have SP1. I wish I could undo it, but I am afraid to touch what's pretty much working these days, since Windows is so incredibly unstable as a rule. I will never download SP2, and Microsoft can take all their other bogus crap and shove it. There's nothing I like about SP2, which is why I didn't take it, especially all that copyright protection crap that they don't mention. I will continue to run my relatively svelte SP1 with protection software of my choosing and wish that I still had my original XP Pro intact. When and if I finally have to abandon it, like when my computer explodes, I think I'll follow the advice above and try Ubuntu. It sounds good.
Posted by BigDaddy69_77 (8 comments )
Link Flag
i agree
i agree with the authors comment about compatability
with older software using an unmodified version of xp pro. i too have noticed this. one additional thing i have noticed concerns ms-works 7.0. i purchased works 7.0 for 19.99 back in 2003. my new computer came with windows xp2 installed. strange works 7. did not work with sp2 i was prompted to install works 8. for compatability. i got works 8. and yes it worked. in june i got Vista beta 2. strange again! it would not work in Vista. but i bet the upcoming works 9 will work in Vista. i am noticing a pre-planned obsolecence here and with other ms products. what an interesting way to deal with the issue of backword compatabily! in vista those applications that are designed for xp sp2 only. fail miserably. some one said that people who didnt upgrade to sp2 are incompetent. i disagree each service pack introduces totally new problems and incompatabilities that must be delt with. i am just tired of playing the upgrade game. i spend almost as much time upgrading all my software as i do actually using the computer.
Posted by jackass95 (5 comments )
Link Flag
Adding to the car analogy...
Well, if you drive your car to, say, 100,000 miles without taking it in for any of its x0,000 checkins, then yes, it would make sense for the auto manufacturer to drop support for your car.
Posted by Hoopskier (6 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Sorry this was meant as a reply to
to the thread "Say it were any other kind of product" by MikeyD215
Posted by Hoopskier (6 comments )
Link Flag
What a service pack really is
It seems some people are not truely informed as to what a service pack really is. A service pack contains all critical and recommended updates up to a point in time. If you were to take a computer with the original XP and install all the updates up to this time (sans service pack) you have basically installed the service pack. The purpose of the service pack is to allow people to install all prior updates before the release of the SP in one fell swoop. This is useful if you reinstall the OS as it saves alot of time. If your computer is up to date at the time a new SP is released, very little changes. You'll get the optional updates that automatic updates tends to ignore (which usually isn't all that much).
Posted by Seaspray0 (9714 comments )
Reply Link Flag

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