Thursday, April 24, 2008

Microsoft Backslides On Windows XP Cut Off Date

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Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer says the company could extend the shelf life for Windows XP based on customer input.

According to InformationWeek Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer reportedly said that the company could extend the shelf life for XP "if customer feedback varies,". Meaning that the June 30th expiration date for the Windows XP operating system is not written in stone.

As previously reported the Windows XP lifecycle is expected to come to and abrupt halt on June 30, when Microsoft will no longer make Windows XP available to large PC vendors.

"XP will hit an end-life. We have announced one. If customer feedback varies we can always wake up smarter but right now we have a plan for end-of-life for new XP shipments," Ballmer said, according to Reuters.

Its not immediately clear whether Ballmer was just making off the cuff remarks or actually testing the feedback waters for some response. However he needs to look no further than the several "save xp" petitions that are circulating the web. People want their XP, there is no doubt about it!

While its uncertain as to whether or not the remarks were serious what is certain is the amount of backlash and trepidation towards Vista. Today InformationWeek reported exclusively that Dell will make XP available on business computers until 2010.

Buyers who want a Dell system with XP pre-installed after June 30 will technically be purchasing a system with a license for Vista. However, Dell will also include a preinstalled copy of XP on systems marketed as Windows Vista "Bonus" edition.

Dell's move is in line with the belief that a considerable portion of its customers are not willing to upgrade to Vista, despite the fact that the OS has now been available for more than a year and has been fully updated with Service Pack 1.


Comments by Steve Ballmer at a press conference in Europe today have led to speculation that Microsoft is reconsidering its June 30 deadline to stop selling most new Windows XP licenses. A spokeswoman from Microsoft's public relations firm said Thursday that there is no plan for a change in deadline, however.

"Our plan for Windows XP availability is unchanged. We're confident that's the right thing to do based on the feedback we've heard from our customers and partners," the spokeswoman said, reading from a Microsoft statement.

The spokeswoman said Microsoft is aware that some customers are pushing for an extension to the deadline -- more than 160,000 people have signed a "Save XP" petition launched by Infoworld magazine, for example. But the company has also done its own research among partners and customers, and feels that "the dates are right," she said, speaking on behalf of Microsoft.

"We feel we've made the right accommodations for customers in certain segments who may need more time to transition to Windows Vista," she said. "But as Steve noted, we maintain a constant stance of listening to our customers and our partners. That's what is guiding our plan, and will continue to guide us going forward."

Source: PC World

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