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A Little More Life for Windows XP

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on June 3, 2008

Microsoft today took another small step back from it’s plans to stop sales of Windows XP at the end of this month. According to an IDG News Service report by James Nicolai, Microsoft said at the Computex trade show in Taiwan that it would allow XP to be preloaded onto certain low cost desktop systems until June 30, 2010. Earlier, Microsoft had extended sales of XP for low-cost laptops such as the Asus Eee PC. No details were given out today, but the move seems aimed at products such as Asus’s new Eee Box. This new breed of low-power PC can’t run Vista satisfactorily and cutting of XP would simply drive the manufacturers to Linux.

So here's where the XP cutoff stands.

--Retail sales of XP end June 30.

--XP preloads by mainstream computer manufacturers sort of end June 30. However, the manufacturers can offer a "downgrade" option if the customer has purchased Vista Business or Vista Ultimate (but not Vista Home Base or Home Premium.)

--"System builders," basically white-box computer makers, can continue to preload XP through January, 2009.

--Enterprises with windows volume license agreements can continue to install XP for the life of their licenses.

--Makers of certain low-cost laptops and desktops can continue to install XP through June 30, 2010.

Confused? Me too. It seems to me that if Microsoft has a product that its customers want to buy, it ought to stop arguing with them and sell it. All this cram-down of Vista is accomplishing is to annoy everyone: consumers,
corporate buyers, and computer makers.

Reader Comments


June 4, 2008 11:43 AM

I am the IT director for a non-profit agency, and I will continue to buy XP Pro for as long as I can. I have no plans to roll out Vista, as I run a Novell 6.5 server. Besides, I don't have that kind of staffing to support this building, much less the outside offices, if we implement Vista. Microsoft shouldn't make their business customers use only the operating system
they WANT to sell; we should use what we want to use.

Jibey Jacob

June 4, 2008 12:32 PM

I think Microsoft is right in phasing out Windows XP. There are too many users out there that are being taken advantage of by the lax security in Windows XP. I myself was one of them for using XP and it's predecessors for too many years.

Even now, I don't think Vista has enough security features to stop these criminals.

Steve Wildstrom

June 4, 2008 1:12 PM

@Jibey Jacob--I think one the reasons computer professionals are so disappointed in Vista is that many of the security improvements have proved illusory. Yes, a lot of security vulnerabilities were eliminated by moving to the much more robust Windows Server 2003. But the most visible security improvement, User Account Control, is such a mess that many, many users have disabled it. More important, the deficiencies of UAC prevent many people from running Vista from a non-administrative account.

Jibey Jacob

June 4, 2008 2:25 PM

@Steve Wildstrom--I've been using Windows Vista with UAC enabled for more than a year, and it works fine for me; although there are still intrusions into my PC.

Why are you still talking about Server 2003?

Perhaps you're one of those people that have been taking advantage of users like me.

Andersen Peters

June 4, 2008 3:05 PM

@Jibey Jacob
"Perhaps you're one of those people that have been taking advantage of users like me." Makes little sense, the fact that you need UAC shows that you are in a different class of user then those that want to keep XP, I'm not saying Vista is totally bad, just keep it on the Dells and Gateways and other preloaded boxes for normal users. At this point power users are still better served by XP and Microsoft should recognize that, if they have a product people want, it makes no sense for them to stop selling it, even if its only mail order or something of that nature.


June 4, 2008 6:16 PM

@Jibey Jacob: yeah, if you lack the knowledge of how things work in windows, you'll get infected whether you use XP or Vista. If you do, you won't have any intrusions regardless of which you run, with XP being a lot less annoying.

Install some simple freeware like Avast Antivirus, Comodo Firewall and Firefox with the "noscript" addon, then use a web based email service, and you'll be very hard pressed to figure out a way to get yourself infected with something or other.

On the other hand, if you would like to keep moaning and complaining about getting raped every day, just use XP with nothing installed, turn off windows update, and use internet explorer to browse a lot of russian and hong kong sites, and you'll have a new interesting virus to marvel over every day :)

Oh, and btw, if you think UAC is so great, you can have the same on XP, just run it from a non-administrator account. This alone will make it a lot more difficult for any malicious installations to take place.

Personally, I could care less, I'm just too lazy to fight Vista's so called "ease of use" features and changes every step of the way.

Ewoud Bras

June 4, 2008 6:27 PM

After 20 years finally a shift of power. It is no longer the operating system, but the manufacturer that sets the standard. Competition is wide open again.

I believe that Microsoft is desperately trying to continue dominating the market from the bottom up (production). In my opinion that is a lost battle and they should consider developing some serious change management programs.


June 5, 2008 4:48 PM

Well, I simply refuse to purchase Vista.
I have been looking at Apple and my next computer will be an Apple. Don't know why I have waited so long to switch to a better operating system. I appreciate Microsoft for making the decision to switch to Apple easy. Thanks, Bill..rj

Jibey Jacob

June 7, 2008 12:08 PM

I'm certainly a different class of user. I'm in a class of users that use PCs to compute and not to spy on someone or rob someone. Most of these people spy on users like me under the pretext of being some security admin with some authority and use that authority to rob us. I guess these security admins are also "power users". Its just that there's very few of us getting robbed, there's a democracy at work that has a composition of thieves.

I don't go to any Russian or Hong Kong sites, and I strictly use Web based email. I'm still being hacked.


June 8, 2008 9:51 AM

I am not a LINUX GEEK but due to Microsoft's business practices, I have replaced several of my operating systems with Linux OS.

I am not a fan of Vista. It is amazing to me that large corporations think they can build it, force it on their customers and the customer will obediently accept the new product, flaws and all.

I have even considered buying an Apple product. The Apple commercials are spot on and are very entertaining.

Will the (many adjectives work) programmers at Microsoft wake up and deliver a bug-free OS that the typical customer want and not just a panel of pre-selected users think we want?

Lawrence Boss

June 10, 2008 2:32 PM

I switched to Mac OS more than 10 years ago, and to be honest at that time it was not the smartest move, even though Windows was unreliable and prone to crash. I loved my MACs then, but I was not able to run my small business using strictly Apple Computers. That decision NOW is definetely easier to make. MAC OS has the machines, the funcitionality, the security, the connectivity, the applications and the reliablilty to base my whole IT infrastuctre on Apple Inc. It is the first time in my business life that I work 100% windows&PC free... and it´s great ! I haven´t even bothered to check if Vista runs decently!

Jibey Jacob

June 12, 2008 8:33 AM

I think Apple is more guilty of taking advantage of their gullible users than Microsoft is. I've found that Apple doesn't have their customers best interests at heart when it comes to their OSes.

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Bloomberg Businessweek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, and Douglas MacMillan, dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.



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