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Microsoft caves to customer, vendor pressure for extended sales of Windows XP

DailyTech reported earlier this week that Microsoft was in a bit of a bind concerning the end-of-sale date for Windows XP. The company originally planned to suspend the sale of Windows XP on January 31, 2008, but later extended the date to June 30, 2008.

The funeral for Windows XP shouldn't have caused too much of a rift in the space-time continuum considering that Windows Vista is currently available to fill its shoes, but things haven't gone over so swiftly. The planned funeral for Windows XP has been confounded by two issues, 1) the rise of low-cost notebooks which are taking advantage of Linux-based operating systems and 2) the fact that Windows Vista is too resource hungry to run with respectable performance on such machines.

We first heard word that Microsoft would reconsider its decision to kill off Windows XP shortly after our original article went live on Monday and the Redmond-based company confirmed that decision earlier today.

Microsoft will now make Windows XP Home available for what it calls ultra-low-cost PCs (ULPCs) until June 30, 2010 or one year after the release of the next version of Windows; whichever is later. Microsoft goes on to state that it "Heard from partners and customers that they want Windows broadly available for this new class of devices, because they want the familiarity, compatibility and support only available on the Windows platform."

Microsoft also acknowledged that Windows XP makes more sense than Windows Vista for these machines adding, "While Windows Vista provides many benefits, including an easier and more secure user experience, Windows XP Home provides an effective solution on these devices from a performance and cost perspective."

Consumers should be glad to hear that the flood of new, low-cost notebooks from Intel, ASUS, ECS, and Everex will continue to be available with Windows XP for the next two years. Microsoft can also rest assured that it won't be missing out on a growing, lucrative segment of the PC market.

For those that are looking to see other versions of Windows extended beyond the June 30, 2008 date, you're out of luck. Only XP Home will get a reprieve from Microsoft.

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The rumors of my demise...
By WindowsXP on 4/3/2008 3:13:47 PM , Rating: 5
...have been greatly exaggerated.

RE: The rumors of my demise...
By WindowsVista on 4/3/2008 3:23:02 PM , Rating: 5
Damn.. how do you copy files so quick?

RE: The rumors of my demise...
By JoshuaBuss on 4/4/2008 1:06:36 PM , Rating: 2
whoever was in charge of this little prank is now responsible for cleaning my desk of the coffee I just spit all over it!

RE: The rumors of my demise...
By ZimZum on 4/3/2008 3:42:35 PM , Rating: 2
I cant Quit you.

By Lazlo Panaflex on 4/3/2008 3:46:02 PM , Rating: 3
Hey, nice to see you're sticking around!

/buys WindowsXP a beer

By ImSpartacus on 4/3/2008 4:33:29 PM , Rating: 2
Stop working so well! You're too competitive with Vista!

RE: The rumors of my demise...
By Bigjee on 4/3/2008 4:35:20 PM , Rating: 2
Your elder brother is such a credit hog. Tell him to stay outta my way.

RE: The rumors of my demise...
By phatboye on 4/3/2008 8:26:05 PM , Rating: 2
Long live the best MS OS to date, Windows XP. May all other MS OS'es bow down to the best.

Just a thought
By judasmachine on 4/3/08, Rating: 0
RE: Just a thought
By Natfly on 4/3/2008 3:39:11 PM , Rating: 4
It'd be nice if they would strip down Vista and make a mobile version instead of continuing to drag XP along. It doesn't need all the flashy stuff. Just the ability to use Vista's drivers, updates, etc.

RE: Just a thought
By judasmachine on 4/3/2008 3:47:32 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah I realized that after I typed it...

It just makes sense to me to make a very low end OS out of the current stuff.

RE: Just a thought
By imperator3733 on 4/3/2008 4:06:27 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, that's what they should really do. Cut out everything that isn't needed and won't run on one of these computer -- MovieMaker, DVD Maker, Aero, etc. If they put a lot of people on it, they could probably cut Vista down enough, but then Win7 would probably be out. Too bad they hadn't made a cut down version of Vista sooner.

RE: Just a thought
By therealnickdanger on 4/3/2008 4:17:27 PM , Rating: 2
That's really what Vista Basic is - function and no flash, but Microsoft just needs to learn what the definition of "basic" truly is and strip it down more. When in doubt, vLite. VistaUlt in under 2GB never looked so good...

RE: Just a thought
By JoshuaBuss on 4/4/2008 1:13:10 PM , Rating: 2
why exactly is vista so huge? what takes all that space? Drivers?

RE: Just a thought
By i3arracuda on 4/4/2008 1:35:58 PM , Rating: 2
why exactly is vista so huge?

Probably all those resources it eats. Vista's diet could probably stand to mix in a salad or two, every once in awhile.

RE: Just a thought
By thartist on 4/4/2008 2:15:41 PM , Rating: 3
Oriental languages are up to 2 GBs. Try removing them with vLite. The rest is just functionality that covers every possible user's needs even if you may not use it(not bloat) or just crap (bloat this time).
Remember vLite is not half as mature as nLite (for XP) yet.

By Joz on 4/3/2008 3:33:18 PM , Rating: 2
Wont Win7 be out by then?

By Runiteshark on 4/3/2008 3:43:28 PM , Rating: 5
Supposedly, so that means people can just skip Vista.

By imperator3733 on 4/3/2008 4:07:37 PM , Rating: 3
Their plan will give them a year from Win7's release for the switch from XP to Win7 to happen. They don't seem to be planning on Vista being used for low-cost machines. I would expect a special version of Win7 to be released with just the essentials.

What about support and service packs?
By m0mentary on 4/3/2008 3:21:00 PM , Rating: 2
Its nice that Xp will continue to be sold till 2010, but can owners of EEPC and others expect Windows XP updates and support past that date?

RE: What about support and service packs?
By SectionEight on 4/3/2008 4:45:27 PM , Rating: 2
Unlikely since 2 subsequent versions will have been released. And how much updating is your $300 UMPC going to need in two years anyways?

By cokbun on 4/3/2008 9:33:45 PM , Rating: 1
the only appeal that vista have is directx 10. Everything else is just bullcrap

By wallijonn on 4/4/2008 12:41:42 PM , Rating: 2
how much updating is your $300 UMPC going to need in two years anyways?

Probably about 100 to 200 security updates; the same number as from SP1 to SP2 or from SP2 to SP3.

By joemoedee on 4/4/2008 7:02:43 AM , Rating: 2
Its nice that Xp will continue to be sold till 2010, but can owners of EEPC and others expect Windows XP updates and support past that date?

The extended support period offered by MS is 5 years after the software is officially EOL'd. (ie: Windows 2000 is currently in that phase until 2010)

Currently MS's Product Lifecycle lists extended support ending for XP as 4/8/2014, with Mainstream support ending 4/14/2009. With this extra year of sales, I expect that it will be extended to 2015.

xp pro
By namhuy on 4/3/08, Rating: 0
RE: xp pro
By KorbenZander on 4/3/2008 4:01:42 PM , Rating: 2
For those that looking to see other versions of Windows extended beyond the June 30, 2008 date, you're out of luck. Only XP Home will get a reprieve from Microsoft.

RE: xp pro
By imperator3733 on 4/3/2008 4:02:13 PM , Rating: 2
For those that looking to see other versions of Windows extended beyond the June 30, 2008 date, you're out of luck. Only XP Home will get a reprieve from Microsoft.

You can't get XP Pro after June 30, 2008. There will most likely be updates for a few years after that, however.

RE: xp pro
By 67STANG on 4/4/2008 1:13:40 AM , Rating: 2
Not that I'm endorsing hacking or implying that I've ever done it.. but long after MS kills XP Pro, you'll still be able to get it.

Lets not forget, the best OS that MS has made to date, is also the easiest to warez....

RE: xp pro
By JoshuaBuss on 4/4/2008 1:08:40 PM , Rating: 2
i don't think xp was "easy to warez" to begin with, it was just the most popular os for a long time, so people came to know it really well, and thus were able to create pretty much any variant of it they wanted.

People though shouldn't get their hopes up
By Noliving on 4/3/2008 4:13:10 PM , Rating: 3
Windows xp is still going to stop being sold retail and oem versions for the general public. If you still want windows xp your going to be forced to buy these crappy computers which the license can't be transferred.

By mmntech on 4/3/2008 4:27:03 PM , Rating: 3
True enough. I wouldn't call those computers crappy though. You're Grandma is probably not wanting a computer to play Crysis. They're to fill in the gap between PDAs and laptops.

Probably a dumb question here. Is it just sales of box and OEM copies of XP that are ending? Will you still be able to buy additional licenses for discs already out there?

By rhangman on 4/3/2008 7:13:14 PM , Rating: 2
You can buy plenty of mini/nano/pico ITX and micro/flex atx boards running similar CPU's to these devices. Such as Via Epia boards and the Intel D201GLY2. Probably also some AMD geode and other stuff.

XP still makes more sense than Vista on these as well, that is if we are talking windows. Linux isn't always an option anyway.

What about XP embedded? Is that being killed to?

It's all about the penguin!
By squito on 4/3/2008 4:58:11 PM , Rating: 2
Every device that ships with Linux on it is another nail in the coffin.
C'mon MS, you can do better - I know you can :)

RE: It's all about the penguin!
By joemoedee on 4/4/2008 7:07:28 AM , Rating: 3
Every device that ships with Linux on it is another nail in the coffin.

No, it's not. According to W3Counter, Linux sits at 2.02% marketshare.

That puts it 1% more than Windows 98, 1% less than Windows 2000. And it's almost 77% less than Windows XP.

Linux is a great server/appliance OS, but I highly doubt it EVER will be a solid player as a desktop OS for the general masses.

I Can Just See It Now...
By Quiescent on 4/4/2008 9:33:57 AM , Rating: 2
A mob of angry geeks, gamers, IT technicians, computer illiterate people, and others I may have forgotten boycotting Microsoft for their forced quit on XP. And standing outside of Microsoft headquarters with signs that say things "We want XP!", "We will not use VISTAIDS!", etc.

By fictisiousname on 4/4/2008 10:31:01 AM , Rating: 2
"Hey Redland yo-yos, dats the way you do it
You fill lil 'puters wit dat Win Xp
That aint workin dats the way you do it
Money for nothin and clicks for free
Now dat aint workin! Dats the way you do it
Lemme tell ya boys - don't be dumb
Maybe get a blister on your little finger
Maybe get a blister on your thumb"

We want our...we want our...we want our Win XP

With all due apologies to Dire Straits ;-)

By Screwballl on 4/3/2008 4:41:21 PM , Rating: 2
MS knows that Vista is its slowest selling OS. Yet thy continue their bogus FUD with comments like this:

We are very proud of the progress that we have made with Windows Vista over the last sixteen months. Since its launch, Windows Vista has become the fastest-selling operating system in Microsoft history, and more than 100 million Windows Vista licenses have been sold worldwide.

Yet if you look at the numbers, by percentage of systems on the market that have the latest OS on them, Vista is doing worse than any previous version of Windows. Most statistic sites based on visitation or other methods still show 10-15% of computers have Vista and 80% or more is XP. This is the slowest adoption rate of any MS OS to date by the general public or businesses.

What they do not tell you when they say they have sold 100 million units is that 20 million have been returned to the store and replaced by XP or another OS. I have spoken with accountants and district managers with several national based tech retailers and local computer shops, the number of returns of Vista based OS software or PCs with Vista is in excess of 15% of the sales for most companies. One local shop has seen 80% of new computers with Vista come back and asked to be replaced to have XP or linux.
Theres a reason why: IT SUCKS
From serious hardware requirements to buggy or non-existent drivers to software incompatibility, this has been the worst launch and first year of any Windows to date. XP had its share if bugs to start but it was nowhere near the level or depth of crap the Vista is buried under. People see this and many are refusing to even buy Vista if they have the choice.

No it is not "people are afraid of change", it is "people are afraid of spending money on crap".

RE: Sales
By Belard on 4/4/2008 12:36:15 PM , Rating: 1
LOL - I love the M$ quote: "While Windows Vista provides many benefits, including an easier and more secure user experience, Windows XP Home provides an effective solution on these devices from a performance and cost perspective."

ah... how about that Vista is a POS OS that does nothing or little over XP.... Think WindowsME-2 - Remember, WindowsME was a bloated, crash city, stupid version of Windows98se... but with some "pretty" icons (looks somewhat like XP). It was SO bad - that many companies like Dell, HP, etc went back to Win98 until XP came out 1.5 years later!

How to get Vista working somewhat good: turn off eye candy, disable various security functions (cant turn off DRM) and whadda get? XP with a different skin loaded with DRM, nothing more.

I just setup a notebook for a client (since notebooks are pretty much stuck with Vista retail) - A fast Dual core CPU, ATi graphics, 3GB RAM... it runs respectable because of 3GB of RAM. But an old 2.0Ghz single core AMD system with 512mb I use from time to time will still boot up, shut down and open programs faster.

You know... if Microsoft was a bit smarter - they SHOULD continue to sell WinXP until WindowsXP-2 comes out... that way customers can still replace that Vista crap with a usable OS (15-25%) and M$ makes money selling a NEW PC with not one, but with two OS licence! (okay, $25~50 from Dell, $100 from retail). I still have an unopened WinXP-MCE (excellent) to use on my next upgrade in 2-3 months... Hopefully Windows7 will be good or Linux.

PS: How crappy is vista? An 65+ year old grandma's 2001 PC pretty much died (WinXP / Celeron 1.2 / 128mb(yep) / 20gbHD) but she only plays solitare, does maybe 1-2 word processing documents (WordPAD) and email (once every few day, 1-3 messages). Her new PC: Not best choice since it was 10mins to closing time at the only store: 3.4ghz Celeron, 512mb, 120GB HD - vista basic. I disabled everything I could. And yet IT WAS TOO SLOW FOR HER! I added 512mb of RAM And yet IT WAS TOO SLOW FOR HER! The PC would lock up, Solitare would crash - which is the most important program for her. She hated vista SOlitare because it required more mouse clicks to play. For 3 weeks, she complained about Vista. So she bought XP home ($100) I put it on her NEW XP and all her problems went away - never heard a complaint about it since then.

Vista blows.

Am I the only one...
By Kakumba on 4/3/2008 11:47:49 PM , Rating: 2
Who is kinda scared of Steve Ballmer in that photo? Seriously, thems some crazy eyes.

XP 2010 image and SP4
By thartist on 4/4/2008 1:38:41 PM , Rating: 2
This leads me to a couple of thoughts.

1) Couldn't anyone then make an image of the hard drive (to have a working XP install) and outlive the availabilty of XP for desktops?

1.5) and distribute it over torrents?
2) new security patches will be issued for this XP distro' so... 2.5) pirates will take certainly an interest on my previous idea

1+2=3) IF THE OS WILL BE ALIVE ON A PLATFORM AS SUPPOSEDLY POPULAR AS SMALL LAPTOPS TILL 2010, THEN A NOW UNFORESEEABLE SERVICE PACK 4 WOULD HIT BEFORE THE END OF IO IT'S SUPPORT... which 3.5) will make pirates and anti-MS people be DESPERATE about having a 2010 updated XP SP4 image... and even not only those people...

A very interesting and unusual panorama may be ahead. Just speculating...

"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

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