Windows XP to be discontinued in early 2008

Vista is safer, easier to use, better connected, and more entertaining, Microsoft says

Microsoft's plan to phase out OEM shipments of Windows XP, the predecessor to the new Windows Vista platform, is not sitting well with some observers, based on Internet-driven feedback.

According to a Microsoft Life-Cycle Policy Web page, Microsoft plans to discontinue shipments of Windows XP to OEMs on January 31, 2008. The page also said retail licenses will be discontinued at that time. Editions affected include the Professional, Tablet PC, Professional x64, Home, and Media Center editions of XP.

Chatters on Silicon Valley.com cited issues with the suitability of Vista on existing machines and said they might just go to Linux instead.

"If Microsoft forces us to make a choice of Vista or Linux, they might just be unpleasantly surprised as to the choice many of us will make," one chatter wrote. "I am telling anyone who has not yet upgraded from Win 9x to XP that they had better do it right away because Vista will never run on their Win 98-era machine. If they don't upgrade to XP right away, they will have to switch to Linux. The only alternative to that is to throw away their computer and buy a brand new one!"

Another chatter said it was "time for enterprises to stock up on shrink-wrapped copies of XP Pro."

A chatter on the Direct2Dell site expressed similar reservations.

"I don't care how much you've tested your systems with Vista, it simply will not be enough," the chatter said "In the corporate world, there are countless applications that are going to fail miserably with Vista in offices that are standardized on XP Pro."

Dell on Direct2Dell said it plans to continue offering XP for now. "Dell recognizes the needs of small business customers and understands that more time is needed to transition to a new operating system. The plan is to continue offering Windows XP on select Dimension and Inspiron systems until later this summer," the company said.

In a statement, Microsoft acknowledged its Vista emphasis.

"Windows Vista is safer, easier to use, better connected, and more entertaining that any operating system we've ever released, and we're encouraged by the positive customer response we've seen to date," the company said in a statement.

"It's standard practice to allow OEMs, retailers, and system builders to continue offering the previous version of Windows for a certain period of time after a new version is released, and this information as it applies to Windows XP has been available to our partners and to the public," since last year, the company said.

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Paul Krill

InfoWorld
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