Office XP Dies on July 11, 2011

After making Service Pack 1 for Office 2010 available for download to all users, Microsoft is gearing up to kill one of the productivity suite’s predecessors, Office XP.

Per the software giant’s official support lifecycle, Office XP has less than 10 days of life left. The Redmond company confirmed that it would pull the plug on the decade old productivity suite release come July 11, 2011.

As a range of additional Microsoft products, Office XP benefited from no less than five years of mainstream support and an additional five years of extended support.

Released on May 31, 2001, Office XP has finally come to the end of its lifecycle, with the company planning to retire support entirely for the product this month.

“The end of support means that we will no longer provide public fixes for the Office XP release. Automatic Updates that ship on “Patch Tuesday” will be discontinued. There will be no effect on installed software; products will still continue to function,” revealed Steve Chen, Microsoft senior support engineer.

Office XP mainstream support was retired on 7/11/2006 for all SKUs, namely the Developer Edition, the Professional Edition and the Standard Edition. Extended support will be discontinued as of July 11, 2011.

As Chen mentioned, Office XP will continue to work, but it’s simply not a good idea for customers to keep using it.

With the end of support, Microsoft will provide no more patches for Office XP, not even for Critical vulnerabilities, which will leave users exposed to attacks exploiting any flaws in the software.

“Microsoft recommends that customers keep their systems secure by upgrading to the latest, supported product and/or service pack, such as Microsoft Office 2010. Office 2007 Service Pack 2 and Office 2003 Service Pack 3 are also supported for the duration outlined in the Support Lifecycle Product Database,” Chen added.

“For our Premier Support customers, a Custom Support program is available. The support team has posted a useful web page about available options for retired product support. They have also published a good FAQ page to explain some of the background on the support policy.”