To help answer your questions on the removal of the Service Pack Blocker Tool for Windows Vista SP1 and Windows XP SP3, we have created the following Q&A.
Q: What does this mean if my company has the tool in place?
A: Enterprises currently using the service pack blocker tool for either Windows Vista SP1 or Windows XP SP3 will be prompted to install Windows Vista SP1 or Windows XP SP3 as appropriate. Microsoft recognizes the need for IT pros to have this type of information in advance and wants to provide them with an early heads-up to ensure they're prepared to deploy the appropriate service pack(s) when the blockers expire.
Q: Is there a separate blocker tool available if we don't want to deploy Windows Vista SP1 or Windows XP SP3?
A: No. Microsoft strongly recommends all customers move to Windows Vista SP1 if they are running Windows Vista or Windows XP SP3 if they are running Windows XP. Our goal in announcing the removal of the blockers early is to provide you with an early notification to ensure you're prepared to deploy the appropriate service pack when the blockers expire.
Q: Does this mean we have to download Windows Vista SP1 or Windows XP SP3?
A: No. Service packs will not automatically install on a machine even after the Service Pack Blocker tool expires. For service packs, you must accept the offering before installation will start. If Automatic Update is turned on, WU will alert you that it has an important update to install. If you don't want to install the update (service pack), simply decline to install and/or hide the update. If you do not have AU turned on, the service pack will not be offered until you open Windows Update and "Check for Updates."
Q: Does this signify the end of support for Windows Vista and/ or Windows XP SP2?
A: No. For more information on Windows product support lifecycles, please visit the following site: http://support.microsoft.com/gp/lifecycle#ServicePackSupport
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