Windows XP has been given yet another unexpected lifeline by Microsoft nearly two years after its successor, Vista, was released and pushing the official phase-out closing date of 31st January 2009 by four months.
According to some, it may coincide with the shipping date of Windows 7, the "grandson" of Windows XP and heir to Vista. In an email to Internet News, Microsoft made it clear that it was not an extension.
It said "Microsoft is making accommodation through a flexible inventory program that will allow distributors to place their final orders by January 31, 2009; and take delivery against those orders through May 30, 2009. This is not an extension of sales".
Still, Windows XP has had an exceptional longevity, lasting nearly eight years, which is longer than any Windows OS before it and compares well to the 5 years other OS like Windows 98 lasted altogether.
It will allow PC makers to buy as many licenses as they can possibly and from June 2009, it is likely that Windows XP licenses will still be on sale in grey markets (second hand markets, refurbishers, auction sites).
Hardware manufacturers like Dell, Acer or HP have pressured Microsoft to allow their customers to downgrade their Vista licenses to Windows XP when needed. Wndows XP Life support will end officially on the 8th April 2014 after five years in Extended Support, more than 13 years after it was launched and almost 15 years in development.
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Many factors explain why Windows XP is still going strong. Vista did not bring the same paradigm shift as XP replacing Windows Millennium. It was good but not good enough. Vista was a demanding beast that left many users furious. Then the emerging Netbooks segment brought a new lease of life to Windows XP and the current economic situation means that many companies are all too happy to stick with what they know best without spending a lot.
Microsoft Again Extends Windows XP Licensing Deadline