Microsoft official curtailing this week of support and patches for Windows 2000 and Windows XP Service Pack 2 marks the latest in a string of moves by the company to kill off products and technologies that either outlived their usefulness or never became useful in the first place.

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While some in the industry would very much like to see Microsoft MCTS Training speed the demise of even more of its wares before they do any more harm (namely Internet Explorer 6), here’s a rundown of what Microsoft has snuffed out so far in 2010.
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Windows 2000, Windows XP SP2 support and patches

This marks the final Patch Tuesday during the Windows 2000, Windows XP SP2 era, and Microsoft did honor XP at least by issuing a patch to prevent some zero-day attacks. It’s now up to customers to move to Windows XP SP3, or if Microsoft has its way, Windows 7. Meanwhile, some observers expect hackers to have a field day before the bulk of customers do move off the old software.

As for future Patch Tuesdays, we suspect Microsoft won’t be hurting for things to fix even without Windows XP SP2 to worry about. If you’re curious about where other product lifecycles stand within Microsoft, check out this handy search tool.

Kin phones

Microsoft pulled the plug on these not entirely smart phones aimed at kids too cool to want to buy them just two months after they hit the market. Despite a critically-acclaimed design and a focus on social networking features, the Kins were a bust, most likely in part due to inevitable OEM partner conflict. (The good news: If you really like the Kin, you can get them super cheap from Verizon now)

The word from Microsoft of the Kin’s fate in June: “Microsoft has made the decision to focus on the Windows Phone 7 launch and will not ship KIN in Europe this fall as planned. Additionally, we are integrating our KIN team with the Windows Phone 7 team, incorporating valuable ideas and technologies from KIN into future Windows Phone releases. We will continue to work with Verizon in the U.S. to sell current KIN phones.”

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Courier tablet

Well, it was no Apple iPad. Microsoft confirmed in April it has canceled further development and production on its tablet project, codenamed Courier. The device had been expected in the second half of this year, reportedly formatted in the shape of a book with two 7-inch screens, a built-in camera and Wi-Fi. The device also was said to support a variety of user inputs such as touching, handwriting and drawing.

But as Frank Shaw, corporate vice president of communications at Microsoft MCITP Certification , put it: “At any given time, across any of our business groups, there are new ideas being investigated, tested, and incubated. It’s in Microsoft’s DNA to continually develop and incubate new technologies to foster productivity and creativity. The ‘Courier’ project is an example of this type of effort and its technologies will be evaluated for use in future Microsoft offerings.”