updated 08:10 am EST, Mon December 22, 2008
Win XP Stays Through May
Microsoft will let PC makers continue to receive copies of Windows XP as late as May 30th, the company tells CRN. Although Microsoft's official deadline for PC builders to order the system remains intact and will make companies submit orders by the original January 31st deadline, the software developer now plans to continue shipping copies until nearly mid-year and will let them take delivery on an as-needed basis, letting manufacturers keep a reserve of copies to continue offering systems with XP up to the later deadline.
The move is characterized as a particular relief for resellers and some PC makers, many of whom have been concerned that a previous strategy of shipping only before January 31st would have resulted in a glut of orders and cut smaller firms out of sales.
The extension effectively results in Windows XP continuing to sell through nearly all of Windows Vista's active lifetime and reinforces ongoing anxiety about using the operating system both by home and business customers. Microsoft has suggested that it will likely speed up the release of Windows 7 for late 2009 and so may leave just a few months between the end of most XP options and the release of Vista's successor.
Dell has repeatedly been pushed to bring back the older operating system and is now charging a $150 premium for the software; corporate buyers have had similar options for longer due to concerns over compatibility and performance.