Windows XP: What's really happening on June 30, 2008

In a thinly-veiled publicity stunt, Infoworld is seeking sign-ups for an online petition to "help save XP" by sparing it the fate of "being discontinued on June 30, 2008." There are a couple of problems with the campaign's premise, however....

In a thinly-veiled publicity stunt, Infoworld is seeking sign-ups for an online petition to "help save XP" by sparing it the fate of "being discontinued on June 30, 2008."

There are a couple of problems here. First, Windows XP is not being "discontinued" on June 30. Instead, as of that date -- unless the software maker issues another reprieve like it did in September 2007 -- Microsoft will no longer make XP available to OEMs for preloading and/or via retail sales.

Users still will be able to get XP preloaded on new machines from white-box vendors/system builders through January 31, 2009. And Vista Business and Ultimate customers with volume-license contracts can still get XP via their "downgrade" rights (as far as I can tell from attempts to decipher Microsoft's fairly convoluted documentation around this issue).

Another point worth mentioning: Microsoft isn't pulling the plug on XP support this year. Mainstream (free) support for XP from Microsoft ends in April 2009. Extended support (free for security fixes and paid for other help) ends in 2014.

Infoworld is advocating for Microsoft to continue to offer XP indefinitely. Fat chance. Why would Microsoft give customers more incentives not to upgrade to Vista -- beyond the ones it has inadvertently provided by delivering a first-generation product that had driver and application compatibility issues; performance problems; and reliability glitches?

Some Microsoft watchers have predicted Microsoft might extend again the preload deadlines for XP, but I think that's even wishful thinking.

Microsoft's motto (which won't be appreciated by Reverend Ken Hutcherson): Vista's here. SP 1 is near. Get used to it...

Update: Whatever you think of Infoworld's post, you have to love the XP countdown clock!

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