Microsoft gives OEMs five more months to install XP

Redmond delays deadline for Vista migration crunch

Microsoft has extended the time it will allow original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and retail outlets to sell PCs with Windows XP as customers continue to balk on upgrading to Windows Vista.

Microsoft had planned to stop selling XP through OEMs and retailers on January 31, 2008, while custom system builders have until January 31, 2009, to pre-install XP on machines. But because sales of Vista PCs have not been as strong as expected, OEMs and retailers have asked Microsoft to extend XP's availability.

OEMs and retailers will now have until June 30, 2008, to sell PCs with XP preinstalled on machines, Microsoft said. Retailers also can sell XP out of the box until that time if they choose, the company said.

"While we've been pleased with the positive response we've seen and heard from customers using Windows Vista, there are some customers who need a little more time to make the switch to Windows Vista," Microsoft said in a press statement.

Microsoft also is extending the life of Windows XP Starter Edition, the version of XP for emerging markets. The software will be available until June 30, 2010, so users in those markets can take advantage of low-cost, hardware-constrained PCs that Vista may not be compatible with. Vista requires hardware upgrades that most PCs running XP do not have.

Microsoft's policy in 2002 was that a new Windows OS would stay on the market about four years after its original availability date. But XP was released on October 25, 2001, more than five years before Vista limped out the door to consumers January 31, 2007, after several delays and a major code overhaul.

Microsoft had high expectations for customer adoption of Vista, and claimed the launch would be one of the most successful in Windows history. Unfortunately for the company, those predictions so far haven't panned out, and in July, Microsoft lowered its projections for customer adoption of Vista.

The company had said the split between XP and Vista sales in its fiscal year ending June 30, 2008, would be 15 per cent to 85 per cent; now the company is saying the split will be 22 per cent XP and 78 per cent Vista.

Paul Ghysels, a custom system builder who owns the Neighborhood Computer Store in California, said that Microsoft has "really blown Vista". He said he was not surprised Microsoft extended the availability of XP for OEMs. "I figured Microsoft would have to come up with something because Vista is so unprepared for the market right now," Ghysels said.

He added that the extension probably won't affect his business much, since most of his customers come to him because they are already disillusioned with major PC manufacturers and thus were unlikely to want a name-brand PC pre-loaded with Vista.

Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1), a rollup of updates for the OS that Microsoft has said will be available in the first quarter of 2008, should make Vista more market-worthy. In fact, many consumers and businesses have said they would wait for the update before moving from XP to Vista.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Elizabeth Montalbano

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?