updated 04:00 pm EDT, Mon June 30, 2008
Win XP Stops Shipping
Microsoft today is on schedule to formally drop Windows XP sales to PC makers, signaling the company's complete transition to Vista for its regular home users. The move effectively represents the end to the unusually long lifespan of nearly seven years for the operating system for most users, although Microsoft plans to continue offering XP to PC makers until 2010 for very low-cost nettops and netbooks such as the ASUS Eee PC, which often lack the performance necessary to run Vista well.
Technical help for XP is also slated to continue past today, with support available until 2014, or roughly 13 years after the software was first released.
The cancellation of XP for most platforms comes despite significant resistance to cutting off sales. Businesses have been regarded as the most vocal as many continue to require software incompatible with Vista, preventing some or all of their PCs from upgrading to the platform. Home users have also expressed concern at Vista's performance for much of its history and are believed to be partly responsible for a last-minute Dell extension that saw the company carry systems with XP preloaded a week after a promised end date.
Dell and others are also working around buyer concerns through a "downgrade" exemption in Microsoft's terms for Windows sales, which allows system builders to technically sell Windows Vista Business or Ultimate but install a copy of XP Professional by default.
Despite the response, Microsoft has claimed in the past that there is not enough demand to continue XP for most computers past the end date.