“As with all releases of new Service Packs, the release of Windows XP SP3 has triggered the timeline for expiry of support for Windows XP SP2, which is 24 months following the release of SP3, in accordance with the lifecycle policy. This means that to remain supported, customers should plan to have upgraded their systems to Windows XP SP3, or migrated to Vista SP1, by July 13th, 2010. This date is officially published and updated on the Microsoft Lifecycle page,” revealed Nick MacKechnie, Senior Technical Account Manager at Microsoft New Zealand.
However, this will not impact the overall support Microsoft will offer for Windows XP. At this point in time, the Redmond company plans to deliver Mainstream support for XP until April 14, 2009. The predecessor of Windows Vista will then enter the Extended Support phase which is scheduled to last until April 8, 2014. This means that even if XP SP2 support is discontinued in 2010, Microsoft will not cut the life line for XP SP3 until 2014.
“A new service pack release does impact the end of support for the previous service pack,” explained Jared Proudfoot, Group Program Manager, Microsoft Support Lifecycle. “So, with the release of XP SP3, we begin the end of support clock for XP SP2. Since the Windows product family provides 24 months of support for the previous service pack, this would mean that XP SP2 will end 24 months following the release of SP3. Windows XP Service Pack 2 will end on July 13, 2010,” he confirmed.