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MS Windows XP SP-2 is very close to end of support

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June 22, 2010

Internet security solution provider Softchoice Corp. is encouraging its clients to deploy Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP-3) or Windows 7 as end of support for Service Pack 2 (SP-2) will expire for good on Tuesday, July 13, 2010.

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On that date, Windows 2000 Professional and Windows Server 2000 will also reach end of support as well, Microsoft warned as early as April 2009.

According to a research brief from Softchoice, which analyzed a total of 278,500 corporate and public sector computers and workstations from 117 different companies and organizations across the U.S. and Canada, about 45.2 percent are still running the older version of Windows XP Service Pack 2.

The numbers were collected and analyzed by Softchoice from January 3rd to June 10th of this year.

Elliot Katz, senior product manager for Windows client at Microsoft's regional office in Toronto says that with end of support, the software giant will no longer provide support or security patches for the above versions, unless MS customers install the latest XP Service Pack 3 or upgrade to Windows 7 all together.

Dean Williams, services development manager at Softchoice, said that based upon findings from its most recent research note around Windows XP SP-2, Softchoice is taking on a mission of education to help spread caution to its customers that the end of support date is coming closer every day.

“The main impact on end-users when a product reaches end of support is that security updates, which include critical patches, are no longer delivered to the operating systems,” Katz said. “We want customers to be fully aware that they can still upgrade to SP-3 with Windows XP or go and upgrade directly with the newer Windows 7.

Windows' XP SP-3 is a free download, but if customers don't have the Internet bandwidth or if they share a slower Internet connection, they can still order the DVD from us and just pay the shipping and handling.”

"This is simply a mission of education for us and our customers. In our opinion, the problem doesn't stem from people not wanting to deploy SP3, it's just that they don't know what service pack they're currently using. This then becomes a more complex problem involving people and various other processes," says Katz.

Customers and industry partners should start taking a look at their environments to see what operating system they're currently running, Katz added.

With no more security updates after July 13, Williams said the customers that fail to migrate to the new service pack or new operating system will be exposed to potential security risks and attacks.

Additionally, those customers also won't have access to SDKs (software development kits) and all the various functionalities that come with it.

"The opportunity for us, as a partner, is to make sure customers are aware of what end of support means and letting them know the impact it will have on them and to help our customers put things like policies and processes in place in their own organizations."

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Source: Softchoice Corp.

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