The demise of Windows XP Service Pack 2

It has been a long run for this version of the infamous Windows Extended Programming releases, also known as Windows XP. The run has been great and compared to the other operating system products Microsoft has ever released, Windows XP has stood out as the most used, stable and efficient operating system there is in the Microsoft OS library.

Why Windows XP SP2 was cool?

Well, with the headaches the previous releases had caused millions of users world wide where eager with the launch of Windows XP in 2001. It quickly became popular because of its advanced features, capabilities, driver support and stability.

With this popularity Windows XP took hits from hackers and users about lack of built-in security features. Microsoft then re-strategized and launched Trustworthy Computing, an initiative that gave rise to Windows XP SP2 in August 2004.

In SP2 they integrated the Windows Security Center which monitored third-party anti-virus software, Windows Updates and the Windows Firewall. Other features like Data Execution Prevention was also included, pop-up blocker for Internet Explorer 6 among other security features.

Four years later Windows XP Service Pack 3 was born, however it was not a favorite since Windows XP SP2 had been in the market for so long and had been tested and approved by millions of users for use in their Computing Systems.

However, time has come for Microsoft and Windows XP favorites to move on especially from the SP2 edition since official support for Windows XP2 has been scrapped off. Windows XP SP3 still remains undesirable and in my opinion the move to stop official support for Windows XP SP2 is a strategy to get users to move to SP3 or rather Windows 7.

What it means?

This means that from July 13th, Microsoft will cease to provide security updates and patches designed with specification to Windows XP SP2, meaning running this version of XP on your computer will be at your own risk. Hackers will begin targeting the unsupported SP2, which will then have no defense. The malicious programmers, hackers are really looking forward to this since millions of organizations and individuals have held on to Windows XP Service Pack 2.

How to know your Windows XP version.

It is my advice that you find out what version of XP your computer is running and make changes to update your system before you are targeted. The easiest way to find out your Windows XP version is to press the Window Key+R, to open the Run dialog box and typing winver then click OK or press ENTER, whichever appeals to you.

Your version should read Service Pack 3 as shown below:

The About us dialog box will show the Operating System version

The About us dialog box showing the Operating System version

If not then you can take the following steps:

What to do?

You should consider moving to Windows 7. However, at times you might not be ready to move to Windows 7 yet. The first thing you should do is make a full back up or disk image of your system. Then you can head to Windows Update so that you can download and install SP3.

In some cases, you might have a 64-bit machine then you have no problem since support for 64bit Windows XP SP2 will continue till April 8th, 2014.

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