Windows XP Closer to Immortality
Windows XP has been around for nearly a decade. And it will be another decade before it’s finally retired for good. Microsoft has given the OS yet another reprieve.
The company had planned to end XP downgrade rights with the release of Windows 7 Service Pack 1, which went into beta today, but it has reconsidered in light of the fact that 74 percent of its enterprise customers still use the OS. So today, Microsoft (MSFT) moved that end date further out once again. “Our business customers have told us that removing end-user downgrade rights to Windows XP Professional could be confusing, given the rights change would be made for new PCs preinstalled with Windows 7, and managing a hybrid environment with PCs that have different end-user rights based on date of purchase would be challenging to track,” Microsoft said in a post to the Windows Blog. “Going forward, businesses can continue to purchase new PCs and utilize end user downgrade rights to Windows XP or Windows Vista until they are ready to use Windows 7.”
In other words XP downgrade rights will continue until the end of the Windows 7 life-cycle. That means OEMs could still be selling XP-equipped PCs two years after the introduction of Windows 8, expected by early 2012–astonishing when you recall that the company originally planned to cut off sales of XP on Jan. 30, 2008, one year after Windows Vista debuted.