Applications leveraging the second Service Pack of MSXML 4.0 need to be upgraded as soon as possible to more recent versions of Microsoft XML Core Services. The end-of-support deadline for MSXML4.0 SP2 is April 13th, 2010, and Microsoft’s recommendation is that developers with MSXML4.0 apps should act to migrate them to MSXML 6.0 or at least upgrade them to MSXML 4.0 SP3. April 2010 will bring with it the ten-year anniversary of MSXML 4.0.
“MSXML 4.0 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, MSXML4.0 SP3, was released in March 2009 and is a replacement for all previous releases of MSXML4.0. i.e. MSXML 4.0 RTM/SP1/SP2. Once MSXML 4.0 SP2 support expires on 4/13/2010, MSXML 4.0 SP3 will become the only supported version of MSXML 4.0,” a member of the MSXML team revealed.
At the same time, developers that need to update their apps might not find MSXML 4.0 SP3 more than a temporary solution. Microsoft is limiting support for MSXML4.0 SP3 to only security fixes. At the same time, it needs to be stressed that the Redmond company will not deliver any more Service Packs upgrades for version 4 of the Microsoft XML Core Services.
MSXML 6.0 has been available since July 2006, with the technology included in all post-XP SP2 Windows releases. Version 6.0 is designed to offer an upgrade path from previous MSXML versions, and the company is encouraging all customers and developers to embrace MSXML 6.0,
“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,” the MSXML team representative added.