There are two important events that will happen to the support policy for Windows 2000 after June 30th of this year.
First, support for both IE 5.01 SP3 and IE 6 SP1 on Windows 2000 SP3 will expire. Users running IE 5.01 or IE 6 SP1 on Windows 2000 should upgrade to Windows 2000 SP4 in order to continue to receive security updates.
Second, Windows 2000 SP4 moves from mainstream to extended support. The key difference between mainstream support and extended support which I think is most relevant to this audience is this quote from the lifecycle site: “Microsoft will not accept requests for warranty support, design changes, or new features during the Extended support phase.” We will of course continue to keep our Windows 2000 SP4 customers secure with security updates through the life of Windows 2000 (through 2010). There are a few other differences between the two support models which you can read about at the lifecycle site. You may also want to read my previous post about Windows’ lifecycle.
It should be no surprise that we do not plan on releasing IE7 for Windows 2000. One reason is where we are in the Windows 2000 lifecycle. Another is that some of the security work in IE7 relies on operating system functionality in XPSP2 that is non-trivial to port back to Windows 2000.
Please note that these lifecycle changes are only for IE on Windows 2000. For questions about other versions of IE (IE for PocketPC, IE for Mac), please consult the lifecycle site for the latest expiration dates.