There are a few dates to keep in mind if you're a Windows customer contemplating when (and if) to upgrade to Windows Vista.
* Beta testers: If you're still running any beta/release candidate versions of Vista, your Vista beta will expire on June 1, 2007.
* Customers purchasing Windows preloaded on new PCs. OEMs are required to stop selling Windows XP on January 29, 2008.
* Customers purchasing Windows as shrink-wrapped retail product. Retailers are required to stop selling Windows XP on January 29, 2008.
* Customers purchasing Windows preloaded on machines from system builders get a slightly longer reprieve. System builders are required to stop preloading Windows XP on January 29, 2009.
Support-wise, Microsoft will be supporting consumer and business versions of Windows XP SP2 via mainstream support through 2009. (I'm basing that on the company's footnote which says: "Support ends either 12 months after the next service pack releases or at the end of the product's support lifecycle, whichever comes first." SP3 is slated for first half of 2008, and 2004, the date XP SP2 was introduced, plus five years of mainstream support, also comes up with 2009 as the magic year that support goes from free to paid.)
The upgrade (or switch) clock is ticking....