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Windows XP Milestones: Service Pack Three, No Longer Retailed, then No Longer Available

added by Michael on 25 Mar 2008

According to InfoWorld, we can expect to see Windows Service Pack 3 pretty soon.

TechARP.com , a Malaysian Web site that nailed Vista SP1's release-to-manufacturing (RTM) date last month as well as its release to Windows Update last week, said that Microsoft will wrap up work on XP's third and final service pack next month. The site pegged RTM for Windows XP SP3 as "second half of April 2008" for seven languages, with a follow-on RTM of the remaining supported languages "approximately 21 days" later.

The latest Microsoft Timetable still has XP slated for retirement, however.  This article from ComputerWorld states:

Microsoft has already made changes in its timetables. Last year, the company extended the sales life cycle -- the time during which PC manufacturers and system builders could sell computers with XP installed -- to June 30, 2008. It will stop selling XP altogether on Jan. 31, 2009. And it extended the mainstream support period for XP to April 14, 2009, in an effort to reassure customers made nervous by the long delays in shipping Vista.

The result of all this tweaking is that Microsoft will stop selling XP long before it stops supporting it. You may be able to run XP for as long as you want, but before too long you may not be able to buy a legitimate copy of XP to run.