Windows XP, first released in October 2001, has been a sales hit for years, strengthening Microsoft's ownership of the OS market. When Windows Vista came along, it faced a tough task building upon Windows XP's success. Based on critical review and public reception, it fell short of matching this success.
Microsoft had planned to retire Windows XP in June 2008, after having already extended its lifespan longer than intended due to customers picking XP over Vista. However, June came and went and only saw a partial retirement of XP. Microsoft still had loopholes retaining support and sales for small systems like netbooks. It also continued to support an option that allowed customers to purchase Windows Vista and downgrade to Windows XP.
Now Microsoft has revealed another surprise -- rather than offering Windows Vista as the sole downgrade option for its new OS, Windows 7, customers instead will be able to continue to party like its 2001, downgrading straight to Windows XP according to Apple Insider. The news was first leaked by an HP internal memo:
Microsoft will allow PC OEMs to structure similar downgrade OS SKUs for Win 7 Professional once available. No formal announcement has been made on the General Availability date for Win 7. However, you can anticipate that business desktops, notebooks and workstations will take advantage of this with the release of Win 7 in the October timeframe to allow our customers maximum headroom as they transition away from XP Pro OS. The Win 7 Professional to XP Pro downgrade OS will also discontinue on April 30th 2010.
A Microsoft spokesperson reportedly confirmed this information to Betanews, adding, "This is not the first time that Microsoft has offered downgrade rights to a version other than its immediate predecessor and our Software Assurance customers can always downgrade to any previous version of Windows."
The plan, according to the spokesperson, is still to terminate all sales of Windows XP by June 2010 at the earliest. Microsoft announced this plan about a year ago. The spokesperson also declined to comment on, or reject the possibility that XP netbook customers would be given incentives to upgrade to Windows 7.
Currently many PC makers are currently still shipping PCs with Windows XP, via online downgrade options. The rights to make such pre-downgraded boxes will expire July 31. HP has already brokered a deal with Microsoft, though, to extend the offer.
The good news for Microsoft is that its new flagship product, Windows 7 should be able to run on most netbooks due to its leaner build. CEO Steve Ballmer explains, "Windows 7 is Windows Vista with cleanup in user interface [and] improvements in performance."
The bad news, though, is that Windows Vista still remains unviable for netbooks. And since Microsoft has always offered a downgrade option, that means that Microsoft will continue to offer the venerable Windows XP, a once industry-leading sales star, which many expected to be sent to the OS retirement home long ago.
quote: Windows XP became really nice when Service Pack 2 rolled out and nearly all the bugs were squashed, stability became rock-solid, and performance had gone through the roof even on what could be considered mediocre hardware at the time.
quote: Only if morons like you proliferate the world seeing as XP doesn't take ANY advantage from multi-core CPUs and by 2012
quote: Longhorn is not a kernal, its a codename for an un-named product. Xp was called "Whistler" and like Windows2000, all three are based of the NT Kernal.
quote: Oh look, a Comparision of XP vs. Vista with 1/2/4 core CPUs on a game THAT uses 4 cores... XP is constantly faster and plays the games as more cores are used.
quote: Vista was built from scratch.
quote: With XP being THE OS for about 6 years and vista severe incompatiblites when it first came out (worse than Win2000 > XP)
quote: It is amazing how many people forget that most of the same complaints people had about upgrading to XP are the same complaints they had when moving to Vista.
quote: Oh FFS!1. Linux will FOREVER remain the OS for nerdy little dweebs who actually like command line interfaces, and upgrading kernels, it will NEVER be mainstream, EVER!2. "as PC Gaming dies" WHAT?? Are you SERIOUS? Have you SEEN the sales figures for PC games recently?? PC Gaming is NOT dying, the fact that you even suggested it shows you have a poor grasp on reality...
quote: Wow spoken by someone who probably has not used linux since the 80s or 90s???
quote: Linux will FOREVER remain the OS for nerdy little dweebs who actually like command line interfaces, and upgrading kernels, it will NEVER be mainstream, EVER!
quote: as PC Gaming dies
quote: you have a poor grasp on reality
quote: 2.5 If you knew ANYTHING about Windows development, you'd know the registry is a holdover from the days of 16-bit OSs.
quote: 3. Have you actually PLAYED UT3? It's UT2K4
quote: In fact, you say PC gaming is dying, yet you still buy games for the PC. A little hypocritical...
quote: 2K7 > 2K3
quote: Its pretty much right up there with XP/Vista and its easily newer than XP.
quote: And it can't run a SINGLE piece of one of dozens of software titles I use on a daily basis. Not to mention can't play games.
quote: which many expected to be sent to the OS retirement home long ago.
quote: Dude. It's 2009. 4GB of RAM is $20 after rebate at newegg. That's why they use "so much RAM" ... its because RAM is super cheap and there's no reason not to.
quote: Sooo... lets make the user wait another 30+ seconds to load up apps that he may or maynot use.
quote: Repopulating the SuperFetch buffer is a time and disk intensive process; think about how long it takes to copy 1GB of data off of your disk and you'll have a good idea of how long it will take for SuperFetch to recover evicted data.
quote: Readyboost really only makes sense for RAM-constrained machines.
quote: This kind of McDeveloper "hay look mom i can program in C# because i'm so smart" mentality leads to sloppy, inefficient coding
quote: and the C# apps are every bit as fast as the C++ ones, from a user's perspective.
quote: TCO between a XP machine and a Vista machine over the lifespan of the computer the Vista one will be less
quote: It isn't just that 90% of programs are designed to work fine with Vista it is that it is the current OS,
quote: (also if you didn't take note "regular" support for XP ends next week and it begins extended support (basically they hire even dumber people to help you when you call tech support
quote: So you advised him to buy old crap that he will need to upgrade next year anyway... you are awesome. Wait, I think I meant moronic rather than awesome.