Interesting story over at ChannelWeb.com: “Microsoft extends XP availability for distributors.”
This should interest readers who still use XP — and those who ditched Vista to return to XP. According to the story, Microsoft was going to stop selling Windows XP to custom PC builders on January 31, 2009. Distributors, in turn, were going to buy all the licenses they could afford because customers still want XP. Now, Microsoft allows distributors to order by Jan. 31, but postpone delivery till May 30.
It’s just a few more months, but that’s extra money for small PC sellers who would have had to cough up the dough sooner.
Microsoft has tried to convince users to switch to the newer Windows Vista since the new operating system’s launched nearly two years ago. Even today, right smack in the middle of the official Windows XP homepage is a teaser to the “Top 10 things you can do with Windows Vista.”
But since the XP software is seven years old, Microsoft wants to retire it. Says the company, “The lifespan of every Microsoft product is carefully mapped from launch to retirement. Windows XP is no exception. We do this to ensure you always get the most out of your PC experience. Read about Windows lifecycle policy.”
Users have rejected Windows Vista in droves and gone back to XP. Still, Microsoft says that 140 million copies of Vista have been sold — whether people are using it or not. The ChannelWeb story mentions that some customers may just skip Vista for the next version of Windows. Windows 7 is expected in late 2009 or early 2010. ChannelWeb says that some reports suggest a launch as early as mid-2009.
Microsoft stopped selling Windows XP as a shrink-wrapped box on June 30, 2008. At the same time, it also stopped sending the software to the major PC companies, like Dell, HP and Lenovo.
Microsoft plans to end “mainstream” support (complimentary and paid support, free security updates and bug fixes) of Windows XP in April 2009. Meanwhile, “extended” support (free security updates, paid support) ends April 2014.
But XP is still available on low-powered netbooks, which use Windows XP Home. Microsoft plans to sell this version for netbooks until June 30, 2010.
And anyone who has Windows VIsta Ultimate or Vista Business can downgrade to XP, via Microsoft’s “downgrade rights” program. To start this, Microsoft says to ask your PC maker. Here’s a LINK to PC companies.
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