Posted by Ray Majoran
On April 14, Microsoft will end its free support for all Windows XP Home and Professional operating systems, along with its Office 2003 suite. It will also be discontinuing support for Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 which was released about four years ago.
Microsoft will continue to offer paid and extended support for customers that have purchased extended plans until 2012 for Office and 2014 for Windows XP. They will also provide free security updates until the end of the extended support dates.
What this means for churches and ministries:
If you have any computers that run Windows XP (which you probably do), the only way to get support for them (from Microsoft) will be to purchase an extended support plan. However, if all you do is use Windows Update to download security fixes as they become available, you need not worry for a few more years.
If your church/ministry still has any computers that run Windows 2000, paid support ends on July 13, 2010, which probably means that Microsoft will no longer release any further security updates beyond that point. You will probably want to get those machines moved over to Windows XP sooner than later.