We woke up this morning with a newsletter from Microsoft – informing us to that April 14th, 2009 is the final date of "mainstream support" for Windows XP operating systems and Office 2003 application suites. Long story short – no more features and enhancements for the venerable OS or one of less popular Office suites – only the security updates will continue to appear for the next five years.

Under the "extended support" moniker, Microsoft is stating that Windows Update and Automatic Updating service will host all previously released functionality and enhancement software, such as .NET, but features such as new drivers might not be updated. Features that were released until today, are the final releases and there will be no more new features for Windows XP From now on, security packs will come first.

In the future, when the user connects with freshly installed Windows XP operating system, you can expect that the WU will want to update you to SP3 immediately [if you don't have it already], and then allow you to install all the security updates and if you need, .NET Framework 3.5 and so on.

Also, if you call upon Microsoft tech center if you’re calling about the problem in regard to Windows XP or Office 2003, you will be directed to contact your computer provider, as the OEMs are the ones responsible for your troubles from now on. If you own a retail license, the time has come for you to upgrade [downgrade] to Windows Vista… or just wait until Windows 7 comes out.

Yes, Microsoft will still continue to sell Windows XP to netbook manufacturers, but tech support will be on the OEM. This just might be what Microsoft needs to finally stop those "pestering" OEMs who want to sell Windows XP until Windows 7 comes along, bypassing Vista completely.