Microsoft, to the delight of PC buyers and late-adopting enterprise customers, won’t let Windows XP die.
In June, they stopped selling the operating system at retail and stopped allowing PC makers to install it on most machines, forcing them to switch to Vista. Kind of: The sellers could still install XP on machines that had a Vista Ultimate or Business licence, or they could send users a “downgrade disc” to do it themselves on those machines.
But Microsoft was going to stop allowing PC makers to do that on January 31, 2009. Now, the company has given XP another six months of life, most likely responding to the almost universal panning of Vista, the Register reports (confirmed by Microsoft to CNET).
And Microsoft’s next version, Windows 7, is slated for a late 2009 release. So if that actually happens on time — and Microsoft keeps extending XP’s life — people might be able to avoid Vista until the next Windows comes out.