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News - Windows XP Gets Reprieve, Yet Again

Oct 08, 2008 Windows XP Gets Reprieve, Yet Again
By: Paul McDougall

Windows XP is proving harder to kill than a Halloween vampire. With businesses having all but shunned Windows Vista, Microsoft has decided to extend the period in which it will make copies of its older sibling available to PC makers.

Microsoft originally planned to stop distributing Windows XP media to large OEMs on Jan. 31, 2009, but this week said it would move the deadline to July 31 of next year.

A Microsoft spokesman claimed in an e-mail that the move is designed to help businesses upgrade to Vista painlessly. "As more customers make the move to Windows Vista, we want to make sure that they are making that transition with confidence and that it is as smooth as possible. Providing downgrade media for a few more months is part of that commitment," the spokesman said.

The fact is, however, that very few large companies are eyeing Vista. A survey released last week by the UK's Corporate IT Forum showed that only 4% of businesses in that country are using Windows Vista on workplace systems, while 35% said they were "not yet interested" in Vista. 58% said they were still using Windows XP, now seven years old.

A document obtained by InformationWeek last week revealed that state IT officials in Maine will likely skip Vista and stick with XP until Windows 7 becomes available sometime in 2010. Users have complained about Vista's resource requirements, intrusive security measures and lack of compatibility with older software.

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