Microsoft Office XP and Vista SP1 will be history soon, as it will exit support by 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, according to a report in CIO.
Office XP's support retires next week, but Vista users can still receive security updates by upgrading to SP2, the service pack that was launched by Microsoft in May 2009.
Vista SP2 update can be installed by users through Windows Update, or by 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 are expected to shut support in April 2012, whereas the corporate versions of Vista Business and Vista Enterprise will continue to be supported with security fixes through mid-April 2017.
Microsoft supports its business products for 10 years, the first five in what it calls mainstream support, and the second five in extended support.
In the extended support phase, non-security fixes are offered to only those companies that pay for special support contract.
Generally, Microsoft fixes security vulnerabilities in its products throughout the entire 10-year stretch.
Users can continue to run out-of-support software: There is no kill switch that gets thrown to disable or cripple the programs, says the report.
Without security patch up, such software is pretty vulnerable to attacks.
Office 2003 will be receiving security updates until April 2014. Office 2007 and 2010 will be getting security updates till April 2017 and October 2020, respectively.