The end of Windows 2000

Tips & Hints

Posted 20 August, 2005

The Zotob worm this week bought attention to the number of Windows 2000 systems still in use across the corporate sector. It was never a popular system for homes and small businesses as Microsot marketed Windows 98 and ME marketed to that sector. As Windows 98 users found two years ago, Microsoft have an established procedure for winding up their older software packages.

One of the fact of life in the computer industry is that technology marches on. As a consequence, older software eventually has to be replaced. Sometimes this conveniently fits the software company’s marketing plans.

Microsoft have a five year support policy. After five years on the market, they move products from their “mainstream support.” This usually means they stop updating anything but security patches and calls to their support lines will receive the equivalent of a blank stare.

Windows 98 users found this two years ago when that product went into “extended support.” It didn’t stop working, but we’re slowly seeing software and hardware no longer supporting Windows 98. Gradually users are moving onto Windows XP systems as they find their older machines can’t run newer software and hardware.

Like Windows 98 users, Windows 2000 users shouldn’t junk their systems just yet. Support for these systems isn’t going to dry up tomorrow. But the main lesson of the Zotob worm is that it’s important to keep your systems patched.
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