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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Windows XP: Going, going ... gone?

Slashdot It! The approaching death of Windows XP may upset you, but it shouldn't come as a surprise. Microsoft Corp.'s product life-cycle guidelines have foretold the fate of XP since 2001. In fact, Microsoft has been killing off one version of a product as it is replaced with another for years now. But this time around, the approaching demise of XP is getting more attention than, say, the final passing of Windows 2000. Why? For a couple of reasons: XP is the most widely used operating system on the planet, and its long-delayed successor, Windows Vista, is not proving to be universally popular. The companies that make up the enterprise market for Windows are dragging their feet about upgrading, and on the consumer side there are signs of a rebellion against Vista. Microsoft has already made changes in its timetables. Last year, the company extended the sales life cycle -- the time during which PC manufacturers and system builders could sell computers with XP installed -- to June 30, 2008. It will stop selling XP altogether on Jan. 31, 2009. And it extended the mainstream support period for XP to April 14, 2009, in an effort to reassure customers made nervous by the long delays in shipping Vista. The result of all this tweaking is that Microsoft will stop selling XP long before it stops supporting it. You may be able to run XP for as long as you want, but before too long you may not be able to buy a legitimate copy of XP to run. So will there be any way to get a copy of XP after June 30? If you want to continue using XP, what problems will you face? If you buy a PC with Vista installed and decide you want XP instead, what are your options? The product life-cycle guidelines Microsoft's product life-cycle guidelines grew out of two sets of needs: Microsoft's need to make a profit, and its customers' (particularly enterprise customers) needs for some certainty about the products they were committing to. The policy was an attempt at transparency, a promise that new products would be supported for a definite period and that as they aged Microsoft wouldn't just abandon them. Instead, the company would withdraw support in a series of scheduled steps that corresponded to the pace of technological change, allowing customers time to transition to newer products. (The guidelines apply to all Microsoft products, not just operating systems.) The problem is that what sounds like a promise to some (particularly enterprise customers) can sound like a threat to others -- particularly consumers. And they're not taking it well. Via CW Get Daily Updates via Email Protect your computer with Windows Onecare Get paid $7.50 for reviewing my post Ad Space

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