Microsoft denies XP a last-minute reprieve, will support until 2014

The company has re-asserted that it will stop shipping and licensing Windows XP on June 30

Microsoft Monday laid to rest rumours that it might reconsider pulling Windows XP from retail shelves and most PC makers next Monday.

In a letter to customers, Bill Veghte, the senior vice president who leads the company's online and Windows business groups, reiterated June 30 as the deadline when Microsoft halts shipments of boxed copies to retailers and stops licensing the OS directly to major computer manufacturers, called OEMs (for original equipment manufacturers).

However, Veghte did leave the door open to all computer makers, even the largest, who want to continue selling new PCs with XP preinstalled. "Additionally, Systems Builders (sometimes referred to as 'local OEMs'), may continue to purchase Windows XP through Authorized Distributors through January 31, 2009," he wrote in the letter, repeating existing policy that lets small-sized computer builders obtain XP from dealers like Ingram Micro.

"All OEMs, including major OEMs, have this option," said Veghte.

Most major PC makers, however, have effectively called a halt to general XP-equipped system sales, although late last week Dell extended its XP order-by deadline to June 26, this Thursday.

Many OEMs, including Dell and Hewlett-Packard, will continue to offer the older operating system as a "downgrade" option from Windows Vista. Veghte touted that approach himself. "This is a great value because it lets you use Windows XP on new PCs today if you need it and then make the move to ... Windows Vista when you are ready, without having to pay for an upgrade," he said in the letter.

Elsewhere Microsoft re-emphasized that although XP will be tougher to buy after next Monday, it will not disappear overnight. In a new FAQ on its Web site, it said, as it has elsewhere, that retailers and computer makers were allowed to sell out their stocks. "You may still see copies of the software -- or computers pre-loaded with it -- for months, as stores and PC makers work through their inventory," said the FAQ.

And Veghte reminded users that Microsoft will support Windows XP for several more years. According to previously-scheduled timetables, XP continues in "mainstream support" until April 14, 2009, and won't be dropped from "extended support" until after April 8, 2014.

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1 Comment



Build it and they will come

Each time Microsoft moves to a new version - they stretch their supply lines (paying customers)- like Rommel in the desert.

One day they will break - bcause we are sick of having to keep up with them.

There is an ever increasing reluctance to move to V1 of anything Microosoft - increasingly in the corporate sector - the largest source of their income.

Intel and AMD have seen the light and have increased their product lifecycle span and reduced the number of variations.

When will Microsoft realise that they do not drive innovation. Customers drive innovation.

The probelm is that there is no alternative - linux doesnt cut it. WHY?

I give my wife 2 install CD's - XP and a linux desktop.
She has no idea on technology.
Which one did she install sucessfully??? The one that spoke to her in english and not chmod dev nul 0

The alternative to Microsoft needs to be able to be installed and managed on a basic level by a person with no technical knowledge.

Apple has seen the light and market share is booming.

When the Linux community gets their tech-geek heads out of their rear ends - they may just see an opportunity to gain market share.

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