Out of the Angle Brackets
This is a friendly reminder that MSXML4.0 SP2 is going out-of-support on 4/13/2010. Applications using MSXML4.0 should be either migrated to MSXML6.0 or upgraded to MSXML 4.0 SP3. For more information about the Microsoft Support Lifecycle Policy, please visit the Microsoft Lifecycle Website.
You may ask why MSXML6.0 is being mentioned here and what relationship exists between two versions. Please read below for historical context:
MSXML4.0 was released to the web in April 2001 to provide a number of new features (e.g. XSD, SOM, Side-by-Side Functionality) as well as great performance improvement (e.g. XSLT Performance) . The latest version, MSXML 4.0 SP3, was released in March 2009 and is a replacement for all previous releases of MSXML4.0. i.e. MSXML4.0 RTM/SP1/SP2. Once MSXML4.0 SP2 support expires on 4/13/2010, MSXML 4.0 SP3 will become the only supported version of MSXML4.0. Support for MSXML4.0 SP3 will be limited to security fixes only and there is no plan for future service packs.
MSXML 6.0 was released in July 2006 to provide an upgrade path for those using previous MSXML versions. MSXML 6.0 represents the key Microsoft native core XML stack in the COM/scripting environment and provides the best security, performance, reliability, and W3C conformance. Unlike MSXML4.0, MSXML6.0 ships with most supported Windows OSes, thus relieving developers of the headache of redistributing the MSXML6.0 on more recent OSes. I.e. as long as your clients are running Windows XP SP3, Vista RTM/SP1/SP2, Windows 7, there’s no need to install MSXML6.0. For those running Windows 2003, please download the package from the Microsoft Download Center.
We strongly encourage our customers to migrate applications to MSXML 6.0 as soon as possible as this is our most supported version. If you are building new application please use MSXML 6.0. In closing, we are quite keen on understanding how we can provide our customers the best possible migration path. If you have any feedback please do post it on MSXML forum where we would love to hear from you!
BTW, shouldn't KB973686 apply to Win2000 too? Because the support lifecycle for it has NOT be ended yet. Also, why does the x86 version of Windows Server 2003 SP2 do not have MSXML6 built-in while the x64 version does?