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

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

Summary: 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!

Topics: Software, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Windows


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • The "reverend" is a piece of work ....

    A "man of the cloth" (a black one at that) wants Microsoft to
    discriminate? The makes me want to go out and buy a full price
    retail copy of Vista.
    FINALLY! Something to rally us around Microsoft like when Apple
    sued them for the windowing interface that Xerox had developed.
    Thank you Mary Jo for an entertaining Monday.
  • Same old, same old: Nothing

    Nothing will happen except MSFT will continue to sell its second rate, bug ridden junk.

    It has taken it more than six years to produce a VistaPile of dung that runs slower than its previous OS with greater resources.

    This is progress? Does Ballmer still use the outhouse on the theory that it is more reliable.

    This company should be ashamed of itself for attempting (and, to this point, failing) to foist this junk on the public.

    SMBs know enough (and the UK government also) not to pollute their machines with an OS sinkhole that offer zero incrementally.
    Jeremy W
    • I beg to differ ....

      It is much easier (and safer) to retrieve your I-phone from a
      regular flush toilet than from a 6 ft deep pit under an outhouse!
    • Same old, same old: Nothing

      In reference to your post, that is.

      Same old rant, nothing new or original from the "BloatMaster" here.
    • Sorry. I was wrong.

      If you buy Vista and "upgrade" to XP, you pay extra so my saying "nothing" was wrong.

      It should have been less than nothing. You paid more and performance is degraded.

      That certainly counts as less than nothing.
      Jeremy W
      • Don't worry PapaBloat,

        We're used to you being wrong.

        If you buy Vista, you get downgrade rights. If you then go out and pay for an OS you're already entitled to, you're an idiot.
    • You are so right

      in your own mind with your personal opinion. You're entitled to it. Don't let anybody criticize you for making your own decisions to buy or not buy something. You've probably used Mac OS or Solaris for years, and haven't really had to deal with these junk issue as you've made informed decisions to avoid it and confrontation over it. Good on you.
      • Nope

        I am an almost three decades user of Redmond Bloatfarmware.

        I am intimately (I've been screwed many times...) familiar with it.

        When June happens, nothing of any substance will happen.

        MSFT has tied itself up into its underwear so badly that it will take at least another five years to fix the mess Vista/Windows.

        The err is human, to really screw everything up requires Ballmerian arrogance, stupidity and lack of ethics.

        There aint no Wow Now.
        Jeremy W
        • There aint no Wow Now.

          I beg to differ! Having used Vista Home Premium, I can honestly say WOW, they actually let this POS out the door?
  • Microsoft themselves...

    Microsoft developers are shunning Vista. They can't get their development tools to work correctly. What's the value? There is no value.

    The Microsoft sales team is still tripping all over themselves: for example, Business users don't get bitlocker and Ultimate users have almost no extras. It's a confusing mess. Now hackers can license the software for cheaper than someone who bought it from the store? Why Microsoft...why? Nobody...NOBODY asked for this mess.

    There's simply no value in it. $400 for what? An exerience that is no more faster than XP with loads of potential problems, applications that won't work, hardware that must be upgraded, and changing of task steps (wireless in Vista is terrible to configure and diagnose IMHO).

    How can Vista make my job (that XP is currently doing great at) and make it better? That's what Microsoft needs to let us all know because currently businesses and home users alike are confused as to what exactly they "won" when they went to Vista over XP other than the MCE inclusions...which, apparently, degraded business users experiences.
    • finish...

      XP...for me...simply works. I can take it to pretty much any machine designed in the last 5 years and it'll load. All the little gotchas have been pretty much worked around. Now it'll be even 10% faster! I'll stick with XP...and I hope...for the sake of businesses out there everywhere...that they do as well. There is simply no reason to upgrade anything to Vista. No killer app, no functionality...nothing.

      Just look at the search options in Vista for a clue of how much XP is still needed right now. It doesn't even look like Microsoft designed it. (hint: file menu should be at the TOP of the window, etc). Heck, I can't even backup my XP box and restore it in Vista without downloading an optional BAK file reader. That seems like nobody considered ever having to restore XP backups in Vista? That same team obviously has made many more design choices for us as well. Vista is STILL in beta as far as I'm concerned and I hope Microosft extended XP support until at least Vista SP2. I think that would probably solve most of the issues right there....performance being NUMBER ONE. It can't require 4x the resources to run at the SAME speed as the previous OS and call that acceptable performance. Hopefully SP2 will fix this.
      • If XP works for you then stick with it. That doesn't make...

        ...Vista bad. You mentioned hardware has to be upgraded. If you have a system that won't run Vista well it's probably time to buy a completely new system. May I suggest this quad-core system for $550:

        Pop in an extra 1GB for $15 and you're golden. Why bother with underpowered hardware when much more capable hardware can be had for so little?
        • Why spend the money?

          You could just give me $550 and you would end up with the same, and I'd really appreciate it!

          Really, I need a more compelling reason to upgrade other than it's only $550.

          I'm running XP on an Athlon 800mhz. I can do all my normal office applications. My Corel Draw works well. Internet is fast, and I can remote my office computer just fine.

          What would I gain by dumping $550 on a new computer?

          Give me new features other than eye candy and I might be interested. Otherwise, I think that $550 will look much better in my savings account.
          • More than 550

            Hmm - motherboard and processor - at least $550, memory - probably different than your old motherboard - $150. Possibly a new video card - $150, OS - up to $400. All that and you don't have your old system as well unless you buy a new hard drive - $100, power supply $75, case $50, keyboard and mouse $50-$100, screen - $200-$1500.

            OK so you ordered the new system - 1 -2 hours. Assembled it - 1 hour, installed the OS, drivers, patches, software, patches again and transferred your old data, then customized your profile - 5 hours. And what do you have a system that runs nearly as well as your old system - how did spending all your time and money help you?
          • I'm not against spending money

            Mind you I have no issue with people buying new hardware, spending money or building new systems - I do it for a living. I just think you'd be better off installing XP so your system runs well and FAST. If you are dying for a new OS, run OSX 10.4 (maybe 10.5 if they patch it a bit more in a couple of months) or a few flavors of Linux.

            I'm not anti MS as I run XP on a few thousand PCs, Windows 2003 servers on over 100 servers, Exchange 2003 and 2007 on many servers, IIS on a couple of servers - but I have to face when MS has a dud and Vista is a DUD. It is going to be the subject of endless Harvard Reviews and management books in the future about billions of dollard spent, countless man hours and all wasted because MS never tested or admited performance issues in Vista.

            No amount of spackle or bondo will fix the flaws in Vista - it is best to tear it down and begin again.
          • What makes Vista a dud? (nt)

          • What makes Vista a DUD

            Since you must not have read the threads I posted by unbiased sources - I thought you'd prefer them over my personal testing in a large network environment I'll break it down for you.

            I set up four identical machines - same hardware in each - one with a fresh install of Vista with all the latest drivers, patches etc. Another with Vista SP1 RC and all the latest drivers and patches. The others ran fresh installs of XP SP2 with all the patches and latest drivers. (system config - Core 2 2.4GHz processors, 2 GIGS of memory, 7900 video cards, Seagate Barracuda 7200 HDs 16 MB cache - each with over 100 GIG free.)

            Vista Network performance tests - pre SP1 about 1/8th the throughput of XP for large file copies, folder groups, etc). SP1 RC - about 1/4th the throughput XP. Network - switched Cat6 Gigabit with 48Gig backplane.

            Gaming performance no significant performance improvement with Vista SP1 - both averaged about half the performance of the XP machines running the same AA, AF, resolution settings in FEAR and COD4 running with all available patches.

            File transfer on second hard drive of same system or the same hard drive of the same system - about 1/4 the performance with pre SP1 Vista - about 1/2 with SP1 Vista.

            I'm not sure why this is hard for you to follow but Vista bites - it is dreadful. It will never perform as well as XP and XP doesn't have all the annoyance factors of Vista. While I'm sure Vista is fine on your brand new PC with a few apps on it and apparently no gaming turned up but for the rest of the world Vista is a dog. Frankly based on your isolationist experience I'm surprised you aren't running OSX as it seems better suited for people who don't have network needs, gaming needs, or production goals.
          • This comes as a surprise to you?

            A new OS requires more resources and runs slower than the version it replaces? This has been true of almost every OS release. Perhaps you'd care to step back to DOS. Just imagine how fast it would be and it only requires 1MB of RAM. Just think of the possibilities!
          • XP was no more demanding than 2000

            XP ran just fine on the same hardware as 2000.

            98 SE ran just as fast as 98 and 95 on the same hardware

            DOS 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 weren't a whole lot more demanding than the previous one.

            Going from DOS to Windows 3.1 was a big jump forward, from 3.1 to 95 was a big jump from XP to Vista just doesn't offer anything worth while but it does slow down your system.
          • But XP was more demanding the 98. And 95 more than 3.1

            And 3.1 more so than DOS. Red Hat today more so than Red Hat from 10 years ago. Solaris 10 more so than Solaris 2.5. Vista is not unique.

            And with systems more than capable of running Vista well costing $550 I really don't care. It's a non-issue.