According to an article from Avid’s Knowledge Base, future versions of Sibelius will not support Windows XP or Vista. The article appeared back on November 8, 2013, but may have attracted little notice at that time amidst the news about the release of the Mavericks edition of Mac OS X (thanks to Robin Walker for posting the news on the Sibelius chat page).
Sibelius 7 is the last version of Sibelius to support Windows XP and Vista for Windows-based computers. Sibelius 7.5, it’s successor, requiring Windows 7 or later.
For existing Sibelius 7 users, the installers and updaters for this product will continue to be available until further notice. Additionally, product and support documentation will continue to be maintained on the support pages at Sibelius.com/support.
Q. Will Avid continue to provide bug fixes for Sibelius 7?
A. No, there are no current plans for any further updates to Sibelius 7.
Q. Will Avid continue to provide assisted support for customers using Windows XP and Windows Vista?
A. Assisted support will continue to be available to these customers until further notice.
The announcement is notable in that it officially acknowledges the upcoming release of Sibelius 7.5, although no release date or other features are provided. Avid says that, as a courtesy to its customers, its policy is “to announce the end of support for older operating systems prior to the release where support for the product(s) will no longer be offered. Avid’s intent is to give customers time to choose the appropriate upgrade for their retired product.”
Microsoft itself is ending all support for Windows XP on April 8, 2014. Microsoft has also ended “Mainstream Support” for Vista but will continue to offer “Extended Support” until April 2017, according to the Windows lifecycle fact sheet. The last major update for Vista was in October 2009, at the time its successor, Windows 7, was released.
Users may recall that the initial releases of Sibelius 7 did not support Windows XP until the release of Sibelius 7.1.2 in April 2012, and even then, certain features were not supported.
It is unclear if the Q & A regarding bug fixes for Sibelius 7 applies to Mac OS X Mavericks users, who have experienced issues relating to performance, display, and ReWire when running Sibelius 7 on Apple’s newest operating system. Also unclear at this time is whether the Sibelius 7.5 file format will be fully interchangeable with Sibelius 7 files, or if users will first need to export 7.5 files as 7 files, as is the case with full Sibelius upgrades.