Thursday, March 20, 2008

Windows XP Lifecycle Coming To A Close

We all knew it would happen eventually, and the date has been set by Microsoft. But can the end truly be near, are we really ready for forced migration to Vista? According to Microsoft's timeline, XP is on its way to becoming our ex-operating system.

XP is the most widely used operating system on the planet, and Microsoft is planning a coup. A sort of "forced" upgrade to Vista. This in spite of recent issues with the Vista's new SP1 update.

Microsoft has already been forced to push back its timetables: Last year, the company extended the sales lifecycle to June 30, 2008 and said it will stop selling XP altogether on January 31, 2009. And it extended the mainstream support period for XP to April 14, 2009. So this time next year it might be burdensome for users to get legit copies of XP.

XP Timeline
June 30, 2008
PC manufacturers and system builders stop selling computers with XP installed.

January 31, 2009
Microsoft stops selling XP altogether.

April 14, 2009
Mainstream support (free live support and warranty support) ends. Free maintenance is limited to security fixes.

April 8, 2014
All support for XP ends.

Anyone that recently purchasing a PC or Laptop wanting to revert back to XP have already felt the stinging reality. In many cases drivers for XP are not available, and in cases where they are users are having to hunt them down. I know I've spent a few hours on Google tracking drivers for people asking for support.

So what does this all mean for the user? Extended support means that your XP machine will still have some life expectancy after the loaming lifecycle termination. However don't expect widespread application support to continue. When some of your favorite programs are updated they might not be XP compatible. Some of the newer gadgets on the market might not have widespread XP support. And well once the software stock pile is depleted you simply won't be able to get your hands on a legitimate version.

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