updated 12:25 pm EST, Fri February 8, 2008
Analysts: Keep XP 'til '09
Microsoft should keep Windows XP on the market until at least 2009, two major research firms are suggesting. Sales of the operating system, which was launched in 2001, are currently set to end on June 30th of this year, according to InfoWorld; this in turn is actually an extension, as Microsoft originally set a deadline for December 31st, 2007. Neither date would have been enough, says Richard Jones, a VP with the Burton Group. "A good rule of thumb in any OS transition is that you have to have the original and new products available for at least two years to handle customer needs," he comments.
XP's replacement, Windows Vista, debuted only in January of last year. Jones argues that Microsoft's transition schedule has been overly aggressive, mainly as a result of having to delay the release of Vista in the first place. "Microsoft is up against a rock, with Vista coming out seven years after XP's release. But it's their fault it took seven years, not my fault," he complains, suggesting that customers should not be made to suffer for corporate timetables.
A research VP with Gartner, Michael Silver, echoes these views. "It would be wise for XP to be available until the end of 2008," he says. The real issue however is said to be the time needed for third-party applications to release for Vista, among these homegrown ones and replacements for products from defunct companies.
Though it has yet to make a decision, Microsoft says that it may be willing to extend XP sales, based on feedback from partners and the public at large. A research VP at IDC, Al Gillen, notes that past deadline extensions have included Windows 2000 and NT Workstation. He recommends against online petitions though, proposing instead that customers should harangue Microsoft through its official channels, such as its feedback website.