Microsoft will phase out 2001's Office XP and the first service pack for Windows Vista next week, according to the company's published schedule.
Both Office XP and Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) will exit all support July 12, this month's Patch Tuesday. That date will be the last time Microsoft issues security updates for the aging suite and Vista SP1.
Although Office XP's support expires next week, Vista users can continue to receive security updates by upgrading to SP2, the service pack Microsoft launched in May 2009.
Users can install Vista SP2 through Windows Update, or by manually downloading the 32-bit or 64-bit version of the service pack.
The consumer editions of Vista SP2 -- Vista Home Basic, Home Premium and Ultimate -- exit support in April 2012, while the corporate versions of Vista Business and Vista Enterprise will be supported with security patches through mid-April 2017.
Users can continue to run out-of-support software: There is no "kill switch" that gets thrown to disable or cripple the programs. Without security fixes, however, such software will be increasingly vulnerable to attacks.
Office 2003, the follow-up to Office XP, will receive security updates until April 2014. Office 2007 and Office 2010 will get patches until April 2017 and October 2020, respectively.
Office XP and Vista SP1 were last patched three weeks ago when Microsoft issued 16 security updates that fixed 34 flaws.
Source: Computer World