End of the Road for Microsoft Office XP and Vista SP1

Microsoft will be retiring Office XP and Vista Service Pack 1 at the end of the day. They will be reaching the end of their support phase (extended support phase for Office XP), which means that Microsoft will stop releasing hotfixes and security updates for these products.

Office XP was released way back in May, 2001. It introduced SharePoint, Web Services integration, speech recognition and more. However, the thing for which Office XP will probably be remembered fondly by users is not a new feature. Rather it’s the omission of a feature that had characterized earlier Office releases. In 2001, Microsoft finally killed Clippy, for good.


Vista SP1 is a much more recent offering. It was released in a phased manner during the first quarter of 2008. However, it has since been superseded by Service Pack 2 and Windows 7. Vista Service Pack 1 fixed many of the annoying bugs that Vista had originally shipped with, in addition to adding support for exFAT file system, 802.11n wireless networking, IPv6 over VPN connections.

Windows Vista SP2 will lose its mainstream support on April 10, 2012, but extended life support will last till April 11, 2017. Extended life support as well as Mainstream support entitles users to free security updates, however the former doesn’t include non-security related miscellaneous updates. Microsoft is yet to announce the support lifecycle for Windows 7.