Microsoft will give users of Windows XP Home and Media Center editions an additional five years of support.
The two consumer versions of Windows will be included in the extended support programme previously only available for Microsoft's enterprise-level products, such as XP Professional.
Under the new system, Windows XP Home, Pro and Media Center will receive " mainstream support" until April 2009, including feature requests, security updates, hot-fixes and support.
When the mainstream support period expires, all three products will enter the five-year 'extended support' period.
Security updates and paid support will be offered during the extended support period, along with a hot-fix support agreement that users can purchase.
Official support for all three versions of Windows XP will end in 2014, 13 years after the first versions of the operating system were shipped.
The five-year support clock started ticking at the time of Microsoft's Service Pack 2 for XP Home and Pro in August 2004. The current version of Media Center edition was unveiled in October that year.
Although this is the first time that Microsoft has offered extended support for consumer versions of Windows, previous versions of the operating system have had their support deadlines pushed back.
Windows 98 was originally scheduled for end of life in January 2004, but the product's popularity prompted Microsoft to extend support for another two and a half years.
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