updated 02:25 pm EDT, Mon April 21, 2008
Dell XP Until 2012
Dell will keep using Windows XP until as late as 2012, a company representative has reportedly told users. Although Microsoft has said it would discontinue the option for XP this year in all but very low-cost notebooks, the claimed Dell message says the PC creator will continue offering XP Professional until 2012 on all its higher-end business offerings, including the Latitude, Optiplex, and Precision lineups.
The gesture follows "a lot of emails" from buyers concerned about the end to the OS and will let any buyers take a free upgrade to Vista when ready, according to the representative.
Dell has not yet commented on the matter, but if accurate would carry the six-year-old operating system past the expected 2010 release date of Windows 7 and more than ten years after its debut, casting doubts on expectations for Vista. Businesses have been historically reluctant to adopt the 2007 OS over concerns of backwards compatibility as well as increased performance requirements.
The news also comes the same day as Microsoft says it has completed Windows XP Service Pack 3, the last major roll-up patch for the software and an effort meant to reduce the number of downloads and updates required to install the OS in the future.
Separately, the same report also notes that Audible has confirmed its audiobooks will be supported on Microsoft's Zune players, filling in a support gap that has been present on the jukeboxes since their launch in late 2005. Audible hasn't set a firm release date but expects the change "before years [sic] end," suggesting the copy-protected format may come along with the release of third-generation Zune players as a major firmware upgrade.