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Windows XP served Microsoft well for over 7 years. Now the first phase of its retirement is being set into action, with the end of mainstream support. Security fixes for the OS will continue until 2014.  (Source: Microsoft)
A venerable OS is laid to rest -- sorta

Windows XP in its early years started off ambitious and enterprising.  However, in those early years (2001 and 2002), it also gave many a headache and received ample criticism.  With time (and Service Packs) it matured into what is today regarded as one of Microsoft's best operating system efforts of all time.

Now the time has come at last to take the first steps towards laying the OS to rest.  While sales of XP-downgraded computers will continue after July in the case of HP, and XP will still be installed on some netbooks until 2010, Microsoft is ending mainstream support for the OS on April 14, 2009.  The first phase of the retirement comes over seven years after the first Windows XP shipped.

The fact that it will still be selling XP machines after this discontinuation is a testament to the OS's strong public image, but it also puts Microsoft in a strange position.  Aside from new sales, an estimated 63 percent of internet-connect computers have Windows XP installed (as of March 2009), versus a mere 24 percent with Windows Vista.  In short, Microsoft is in the curious position of ending support for its most widely used product.

Laurence Painell, Windows marketing manager at Microsoft UK reassures customers that while the majority of product-related (i.e. mainstream) support will be ended, key security updates will not.  He states, "We will provide critical security fixes via Windows Update for all editions of XP until 2014."

However, Microsoft will no longer have the burden of answering any non-security issues, except for those users with an
extended support contract with Microsoft or one of its channel partners.  Microsoft says that the familiarity in the tech community with XP, should limit this becoming a problem.  It argues that customers have plenty of support resources to turn to online.

Gartner analyst
Michael Silver praises the move.  He states, "The only thing extended support buys you is creation of new non-security fixes, at a hefty fee for each one. After all these years, most people figure that most of the functional bugs [in XP] are already worked out."

Microsoft is encouraging XP customers to switch to its upcoming OS, Windows 7, particularly those who skipped Vista.  One curious aspect of Windows 7 is that it comes with an offer for an XP downgrade, again throwing a bit of a wrench in Microsoft's retirement plans.  The downgrade is a quick process, but ironically an upgrade from XP to Windows 7 requires a full install. 

Describes a Windows Team blog post, "There are simply too many changes in how PCs have been configured (applets, hardware support, driver model etc) that having all of that support carry forth to Windows 7 would not be nearly as high quality as a clean install." 

Microsoft encourages XP customers to download the Windows 7 beta to ease the transition.

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RE: They do not want to admit
By fatedtodie on 4/8/2009 1:45:59 PM , Rating: 2
There is a microsoft office 2007 compatibility pack that allows ALL microsoft office 2007 files and extensions to be viewed (though I don't think you can edit them you can at least view them) so that is just a failure on your IT department to educate its users.

I do feel for your situation but, look at my car example that was rated down then apply it to your situation. Or look at it without analogies from a business perspective. Vista (and Windows 7) is BETTER. Yes it had initial problems due to having a different look and feel, and manufacturers screwing up, that is not Microsoft's fault or really their problem.

If you bought a lexmark 20 dollar laser printer that doesnt work? who cares. Go sell something on Ebay and then user the money to buy that new printer for 20 bucks that WORKS. If that "lexmark printer" is a $300,000 dollar molecular scanner/brain surgery laser, either don't update and don't whine or... upgrade and handle it. The world moves forward. It is technological evolution, the newer varient of the animal called windows left behind the older not willing to adapt version (Yeah I used another analogy so apperently this will get marked down by more whiners). Sometimes life continues on without giving a crap about the old stuff.

While it may take millions of dollars to update your system, what about looking at it from a smart IT standpoint? If you got a 400-500 dollar 3ghz core 2 duo, with 500 GB sata 2 hard drive, you could put a Virtual PC setup that can run that XP SP2 while not leaving your company or your department vulnerable and you can gain the advantages of SP3, AND office 2007.

"I'd be pissed too, but you didn't have to go all Minority Report on his ass!" -- Jon Stewart on police raiding Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's home

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