A hot debate is raging over what Microsoft should do with Windows XP. Windows Vista is simply not viable for low-end PCs that are a mainstay of the consumer home computing market. Windows XP was originally scheduled to be discontinued in January 2008. In preparation for this phase out, most retail computers were to be loaded with Vista.
However, the lawsuits and negative feedback that ensued from underperforming computers struggling with Vista, led Microsoft to reconsider and offer XP "downgrades". It also gave XP a stay of execution until June 2008, sixth months after the planned date.
June 2008 is fast approaching and now Microsoft is faced with the dilemma of whether to officially retire the OS or further extend its career. In Belgium on Thursday, Steve Ballmer spoke to reporters about the OS's fate. He indicated that while customer demand could extend the life of the OS, currently he did not see customers demanding it, and he felt that unless something changes, XP would be headed the way of the dinosaur.
He stated, "XP will hit an end-of-life. We have announced one. If customer feedback varies we can always wake up smarter but right now we have a plan for end-of-life for new XP shipments."
All retail sales and licensing, under the current plan, will end June 30. Ballmer said that despite difficulties, most retail computers today are being sold with Vista, and most customers prefer Vista.
However, some customers portray a different story. They say that they were unable to buy XP in stores. Further, they say that in order to get XP they had to buy their computers as small businesses. It is indeed true that XP is virtually nonexistent at large retailers such as Best Buy and Circuit City.
Ballmer acknowledged there was business sector demand for XP still. He says this is driven by the fact that the IT industry frequent heavily employs older or outdated hardware. He states, "In the business environment, we still have customers who are buying PCs with XP."
Ballmer was also questioned by reporters about if Microsoft would appeal the landmark $1.4B USD fine from the EU. Ballmer simply remained mum, stating, "I really have nothing to say about that today, sorry."
Microsoft would have to appeal the ruling to the European Court of First Instance by early May at the latest. The European Commission imposed the fine due to the fact that it found that Microsoft was using pricing anti-competitively to drive rivals out of the market.
Steve Ballmer was in Belgium for the opening of a new "innovation center" in the city of Mons. Google has a data center in the same city, but Ballmer says that is not why it was selected.
Ballmer also reaffirmed that if Yahoo would not accept its buyout offer, Microsoft would seek to oust the company's board of directors. He stated, "We've sent them a letter that says, 'it's a good price, please let us know. If you don't let us know, maybe your shareholders will think it's a good price."
By far the most interesting insight he provided though was his outlook on XP. Microsoft already caved in to extend the life of Windows XP Home only for ultra-low-cost PCs (ULPCs) until June 30, 2010. Whether Microsoft will have a change of heart for the remaining versions of XP remains to be seen.
And the sooner Microsoft retires XP, the sooner it can fully focus on releasing Windows 7. The new OS, which is scheduled tentatively for 2010, promises slimmer builds, which may help relieve Microsoft's hardware woes. Still, two years is a long time to wait in the consumer market.
quote: The next build 0.3.5 is going to be marked beta, and it's due out anytime now.
quote: but when it was finally released it turned out to be not much more than XP with a shiny coat of paint... kinda like the dreaded windows ME was just W98 with extra lipstick.
quote: there are still businesses that use Windows 2000 to this day.
quote: And wasn't XP more like 2000 with a shiny coat of paint or "extra lipstick"?
quote: Vista will run OK and is pretty happy on 2 gigs.
quote: A poster in an earlier thread had it right. No one would have anything bad to say about Vista if it had been released as 64 bit only, with WinXP kept on as the 32 bit OS.
quote: 2. Lack of any real benefit for majority of users
quote: Your every day user would notice that their audio was choppy and dropping in and out, but they might not notice that their network performance suddenly dropped to 100kbps...
quote: Windows throttling mechanismBecause multimedia programs require more resources, the Windows networking stack implements a throttling mechanism to restrict the processing of non-multimedia network traffic to 10 packets per millisecond.The throttling will come into effect only when you are running multimedia programs that are time sensitive. However, this throttling mechanism can potentially cause a decrease in network performance during the active multimedia playback period. This decrease in performance is likely to occur only on high speed networks that are saturated to maximum capacity.
quote: I would be much more pissed if my dvd's kept freezing or the audio kept going out of sync while watching movies, something that happened to me all the time while using XP
quote: People might be screaming to keep Win 98 but I think it's a totally different story as to whether they actually need Win 98 on a new PC. Most people will be just fine with Win ME and most businesses will have volume licences for Win ME so they can continue to install Win 98 on new PC's if they so wish.
quote: most businesses will have volume licences for XP so they can continue to install XP on new PC's if they so wish.
quote: You can be a fan of older OS all you want, but it doesn't help move technology forward. </quote]DRM. New licensing model. Incessant pop-ups. Using slow USB mem flash for caching (now there's a leap forward...) quote: Besides, Microsoft doesn't owe XP fans anything. Any fan of XP already has Windows XP, so their stopping selling it won't affect you. XP will still be supported, too. "Dell suggests Vista Ultimate."Of course, they do...No, MS doesn't owe XP fans anything. But chances are that those self same XP fans will not be upgrading to Vista. More than likely they will wait for Windows7, or whatever will replace Vista. Or they will go to Linux or buy Macs and also install XP on it.Surfing? Buying online? Documents? Music? Photos? Movies?Macs.Gaming?PCs. 32 bit Vista Ultimate.Media servers?Vista.I haven't used Windows to surf at home in over 2 years. Macs and Linux is what I use. Because I am tired of installing Anti-Virus software, installing anti-spyware programs, installing anti-BHOs programs, dealing with browser hijacks, rootkits, resolving conflicts between Norton and AOL firewalls, etc.If I upgrade to Vista I will need to build a new PC. If I 'have to' pay $1000 for a new PC then I will just buy a Mac.
quote: Besides, Microsoft doesn't owe XP fans anything. Any fan of XP already has Windows XP, so their stopping selling it won't affect you. XP will still be supported, too.
quote: Navigate around my OS easily, install software easily that is > not on the package manager list
quote: lets make it clear.ubuntu can do everything XP/Vista does, alteast for most users. i have ubuntu 8.04 along side XP and vista. yet i still prefer vista, WHY ?because vista is easy to use and maintain, and by easy i mean less time consuming. Linux is a huge time drain.
quote: it's very desirable (at least for MS) to get rid of XP.
quote: WE ALL WANT XP
quote: Vista installs faster than XP in the first place!
quote: I get everyhing
quote: Utter BS. I've installed XP and Vista on everything from a P3 to quad core systems. The only way that happens is if you install zero Vista addons and install every single XP addon.
quote: How is XP primitive? Vista has only two tangible features (at last count) that make it somewhat (at best) more advanced than XP- and those two features are largely unimportant.
quote: Seriously though, does he ever leave his office, cause if he did he'd know that WE ALL WANT XP.
quote: Windows Vista is simply not viable for low-end PCs that are a mainstay of the consumer home computing market.
quote: Any PC with 1GB of RAM will run Vista acceptably.
quote: that's why I'm bugging the guy to pay about $40 for a 1GB stick of RAM to bring his total up to 2GB. Doesn't that sound prudent?
quote: "Windows Vista: A work in progress," said Ballmer to a crowd of Microsoft MVPs in Seattle
quote: All this does not do any good to his image & of M.S.
quote: Decide when Vista will be graded a finsihed product.
quote: All this does not do any good to VISTA SALES.
quote: Are you kidding - this buzz is great PR for Microsoft! Everyone is debating which Microsoft OS is best - sounds like Ballmer is doing a great job "stirring the pot."
quote: Software is never finished, unless the company goes out of business. Vista is more than "done enough" to be useful today
quote: Great PR for M.S.should be comparing Vista with the competition & not competing with its ownself,namely WinXP.
quote: And you're a liar. Old people don't know the difference between operating systems. You made that old lady story up.
quote: That said I don't know what gives us the right to say when a company should or shouldn't stop selling their own product.
quote: We had it at day one and until recently you could not manage Server 2003 boxes or AD effectively with Vista