iTunes Store to stop working for first-gen Apple TV & older Windows PCs on May 25

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As of late May, people with an original Apple TV — or a PC running Windows XP or Vista — will be unable to access or re-download content from the iTunes Store, a new Apple support document indicates.

The deprecation is a result of "security changes," the company says. While Apple TV owners will have to buy newer hardware, XP and Vista users can get around the problem by upgrading to Windows 7 or later, assuming their computers meet minimum requirements.

Apple notes that it considers the first-gen Apple TV obsolete, and that Windows XP and Vista are no longer supported by Microsoft. Older versions of iTunes will continue to run on XP and Vista — just with diminished functionality.

Both Apple and Microsoft have switched to radically different approaches to their platforms. The first Apple TV came with a hard drive, but every newer model is flash- and streaming-based, with comparatively little onboard storage. Windows, meanwhile, is being continually updated instead of sold in major revisions. Customers simply pay for a new license whenever they buy a new PC or tablet or make a major parts upgrade.

MacRumors points out that first-gen Apple TV owners are being emailed about the issue.