There has been a lot of talk about MS back porting part of their XP SP2 IE fixes to older versions of Windows. I wonder if they truly should. After all, operating systems eventually fall off from achieving support. Here is IBM's support schedule for the AS/400 / iSeries. How well do they support their products after the end of program support? Take the case of Windows 2000. How much support should one expect from Microsoft 4 1/2 years after that product has shipped? NT4? Its been 8 years since that shipped. WinME? 4 years. What about older versions of Linux? How many major features are back ported to 2.2 or 2.4? Microsoft is a business, they are entitled to make money.
One the other side of the coin, only about 50% of the installed base of Windows has updated to WinXP. Perhaps MS should think about back porting some of the updates to Win2k and WinME? Back porting would definitely be useful in securing a high percentage of systems on the internet. The change to the ActiveX downloading and the popup-blocking would be greatly recieved.
FYI, it is not my intention to start a flame-war. I'm just posting the thoughts running through my head. I try and keep personal opinions in my head, but this subject started my mind racing.