As expected, Microsoft Corp. last week moved Windows XP out of its mainstream support program and into a more limited plan.
Under Microsoft's policy, mainstream support delivers free fixes — including security patches and other bug fixes — to everyone. The extended support program now covering XP provides all users with security updates, but nonsecurity hot fixes are provided only to companies that have signed Microsoft support contracts.
The shifting of XP into the first phase of support retirement comes despite the continuing popularity of the seven-year-old operating system. In a recent survey by Dimensional Research Inc., 97% of the 1,100 IT professionals queried said their companies are still running XP, and 72% voiced concern about the cost of migrating to Windows 7.