Yesterday, I reloaded Windows Media Center Edition of Windows XP on a customers machine. This version was from 2005 and included Windows XP SP2 and Internet Explorer 6. I scarfed up the Audio, Video, and Ethernet drivers on my own PC from the Dell site, transferred them to the customer machine with a flash drive and installed. Next I went to Windows Update and tried to bring the machine the rest of the way up-to-date. Imagine my surprise when it failed. The error code given was no help. This was a new clean the clock install. Well maybe Internet Explorer 6 was no longer supported and they did something that precluded using it anyway. Off to Microsoft downloads to get IE8, the last version supported for Windows XP. That didn’t help either. Off again to the downloads site for Service Pack 3, SP3. The first download failed and I had to do it again. After this install Windows Update worked. I added Office 2010 and converted to Microsoft Update and all’s right with the world.
Microsoft is dropping support of XP on April 8, 2014. There was a subtle hint on the XP downloads page to treat yourself to a new machine. I’ve never upgraded a Windows XP machine to Windows 7, but few of them except at the very end of the XP era of late 2006-2007 would be capable of supporting it.