Microsoft clarifies Windows XP support plans

Microsoft yesterday confirmed that it will continue to provide mainstream support for all flavours of Windows XP, including Home and Professional editions, for two years after the release of Windows Vista.

Vista, the successor to XP, is expected to be released late this year.

The company quietly changed the update policies listed on its Web site on Tuesday after questions arose about whether it would continue to support Windows XP Home beyond the end of 2006.

"We have corrected the error, and we apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused our customers," a Microsoft spokesperson said.

Extended Support for XP, which customers must pay for, will also be provided by Microsoft for five years after mainstream support for Windows XP ends. That means the end of support for those customers is likely to occur at the end of 2013.

Alternately, Microsoft will provide Extended Support for XP for two more years after the release of the next operating system after Vista.

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