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Windows Operating Systems Software

Microsoft Extends XP's Life By 6 Months 278

Posted by kdawson
from the slow-on-the-uptake dept.
hairyfeet writes "Despite Microsoft releasing Windows Vista more than nine months ago the adoption rate has not been as Microsoft hoped. Bowing further to pressure from OEMs and consumers, Microsoft has extended the life of Windows XP, which was due to end sale by OEMs on January 1 next year, to a new date of June 30. Asked if this was an indication of a strong demand for XP, a Microsoft representative sought to downplay the extension, stating 'We wouldn't term it strong, we would describe this as accommodating a certain element who needs more time.'"
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Microsoft Extends XP's Life By 6 Months

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  • Hmmm.... (Score:5, Funny)

    by bjb (3050) on Friday September 28, 2007 @12:28PM (#20784745) Homepage Journal
    Depends on what your definition of "is" is...
  • 5 Months? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ihop0 (988608) on Friday September 28, 2007 @12:30PM (#20784765)
    Jan 1 -> June 30? Isn't that 6 months?
  • 5 months? (Score:5, Funny)

    by XxtraLarGe (551297) on Friday September 28, 2007 @12:30PM (#20784769) Journal
    Jan 1 to June 30, wouldn't that be 6 months. Or did they use Excel to do the math?
  • Microsoft made a product so appealing to the users that they don't want to switch. Not even to a newer version.

    Sooner or later this was gonna happen.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Andrewkov (140579)
      BAHHHAHAHAHAA! You should work in marketing! :)
    • XP is not that much appealing, but for certain tasks there is no better available.
      And Vista is definitely worse.
      I'm happy with this decision, i planned to buy a new machine next year, but only if i could get it without Vista.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Sweetshark (696449)

        I'm happy with this decision, i planned to buy a new machine next year, but only if i could get it without Vista.
        http://www.fsfe.org/en/fellows/refund [fsfe.org]
        • Why is everyone comparing XP and Vista as if they were Microsoft's only operating systems?

          Windows 98 SE is the second-best version so far. Requires patching for current hard drives (>60GB) and processors (>2.1Ghz). Requires Mozilla and ZoneAlarm for security. Unavailable for purchase and unsupported since July 2006, but included here as the previous benchmark.

          Windows 2000 did not have driver support for gamers.

          Windows XP is a security hole disguised as an OS. Six years of constant patching and cons
    • by Corporate Troll (537873) on Friday September 28, 2007 @12:38PM (#20784891) Homepage Journal
      This summarizes it [userfriendly.org]
    • by Salsaman (141471) on Friday September 28, 2007 @12:42PM (#20784977) Homepage
      You mis-spelled "appalling".
    • Microsoft made a product so appealing to the users that they don't want to switch. Not even to a newer version.

      Sooner or later this was gonna happen.
      Or "Microsoft made a product that isn't more appealing than their last, best effort."

      XP can certainly be topped, it is by no means perfect. But it is a crowning jewel in comparison to Vista. THAT is Microsoft's problem.
    • by nurb432 (527695) on Friday September 28, 2007 @01:38PM (#20785885) Homepage Journal
      No, they didn't make it so appealing users want to keep old. They made the upgrade so appalling that users don't want to buy new.
  • Vista SP1 Delayed (Score:5, Insightful)

    by acherrington (465776) * <[moc.liamg] [ta] [notgnirrehca]> on Friday September 28, 2007 @12:33PM (#20784821)

    'We wouldn't term it strong, we would describe this as accommodating a certain element who needs more time.'
    So let me get this straight... if its not demand that's changing this.. and its a certain element who needs more time, well then I am going to guess that its Microsoft that needs more time to push out Vista Service Pack 1. Then hopefully Windows Vista will have the bugs out and customers will want to migrate.
    • Good parsing of the Microsoft rep's statement, and I think you're right. However, from my point of view, the main problem is that the Vista user interface sucks, so the only way SP1 is going to improve things is if it offers a 'Vista Traditional' (i.e. XP) look and feel. The OS version of Coke Classic.
      • the main problem is that the Vista user interface sucks,

        Agreed. I had my first serious foray into Vista a couple of days ago, helping a friend set up wireless for his new office, and let's just say those comparisons to WinME aren't far off the mark.
        • Agreed. My neighbor got 2 laptops a few months ago with Vista on them, and I set them up on his wireless network. It was painful, and the fact that the machines are spec'ed waaay higher than my XP laptop, yet run at maybe 3/4 the speed just amazes me...
    • They obviously thought they'd give it a few extra months of effort to perfect the new features introduced by the service pack.

      http://chris.pirillo.com/2007/09/28/vista-rants/ [pirillo.com]

       
    • 'We wouldn't term it strong, we would describe this as accommodating a certain element who needs more time.'

      Microsoft has learned the lesson of the boiling frog [wikipedia.org], and this is a really smart move on their part. It's going to take a while for their customers to get used to the shackles of DRM (or Microsoft Genuine Advantage TM) before they stop chafing with all the new checks, slowdowns, monitoring, and restrictions. They wouldn't want to many customers to jump out of the pot while they still can.

    • Some people won't move to the next Windows until SP2. A lot won't move until SP1 is out. SP1 isn't ready yet, ergo, accomodate the wait-for-SP1 crowd.

      You'll see a lot of other interpretations on Slashdot, but I just don't see them bearing out for most businesses or in the non-Slashdot world in general.
    • by acidrain (35064)

      Then hopefully Windows Vista will have the bugs out and customers will want to migrate.
      Exactly, I read this new date as being when MS thought Vista would be ready for cooperate use.
    • And we are certain they are subversive elements, who else would object to DRM but pirates and thieves trying actually watch or listen to the content that they have paid for!
  • Activation servers? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sakdoctor (1087155) on Friday September 28, 2007 @12:34PM (#20784825) Homepage
    What happens to the activation servers long after the products (ie 2000 and XP) are out of extended support?
  • XP Works (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Blinocac (169086) on Friday September 28, 2007 @12:34PM (#20784833)
    Plain and simple. I'm no big fan of MS, but XP is really a decent piece. If it aint broke, don't fix it.
    • XP Sucks (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Colin Smith (2679) on Friday September 28, 2007 @01:04PM (#20785307)
      XP sucks. It simply sucks less than Vista.
       
    • Re:XP Works (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Oliver Defacszio (550941) on Friday September 28, 2007 @01:18PM (#20785565)
      Yes, that's obviously the case. Anyone who still trots out the old stupid chestnut "Windows is unstable" argument has either never used 2000 or XP, or is just lying in hopes of attracting attention from the gullible to his purely political motives (or both).

      Actually, I think this is pretty fortuitous for Microsoft, despite the fact that it calls attention to Vista's lack of popularity. Computer stores around here are using the fact that they "still" sell computers with XP as a sales tool, and the support extension is a pretty nice method of keeping everyone happy and quiet while Microsoft does whatever they do to Vista to make it a reasonable upgrade. Although I've not used Vista beyond a few tries in the store and a minute or two at a friend's house, it seems from popular opinion (beyond the completely unsurprising groupthink here at Slashdot) that Vista was born prematurely, and Microsoft is fortunate to have a historical product like XP they can use as a tool of placation until the new one is what it always should have been.

      XP *is* really good, and Microsoft is pretty lucky that Vista didn't come after, say, Windows 98 or ME, because those are not something they'd want to fall back upon in a situation like this. I guess the old saying is true -- business is as much about timing and luck as it is about skill.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Doctor Crumb (737936)
        Windows is still less stable than any other modern OS; while it's more stable than any previous MS offering, that's hardly saying much. My linux computers stay on for months at a time with no issues; I have to reboot my windows computers once a week or they slow to a crawl (never mind patch-and-reboot tuesdays!).

        XP is *not* really good, it is merely good *enough*.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by everphilski (877346)
          What are you doing to your windows computers? Mine stays up for months at a time. Dual core AMD, windows xp x64. I'm running a WAMP stack, skype, and play a MMORPG... what are you doing wrong? Or maybe you shoud just admit that you don't know how to admin a windows box like you do a linux machine. Maybe that is the difference.
    • It is broke and Microsoft fixes it regularly.
  • by Tackhead (54550) on Friday September 28, 2007 @12:35PM (#20784849)
    > 'We wouldn't term it strong, we would describe this as accommodating a certain element who needs more time.'"

    Pressed for clarification, the Microsoft representative continued:

    Q: "Would you term the market's adoption of Vista as slow?"
    A: "We wouldn't term it slow, we would describe it as approaching that of a sloth on valium."

  • by sufijazz (889247) on Friday September 28, 2007 @12:38PM (#20784897)
    Some factors affect the uptake of Vista:
    1. It needs a lot more RAM. Or atleast people seem to think so.
    2. People are waiting for it to "settle down" - probably until Service Pack 1 is released.
    3. There is a lot of confusion about different Vista [diffen.com] versions [microsoft.com].

    There is also the issue of some drivers not being available [sony.com]. But things will settle down soon enough. One year is not that long of a timeframe to wean marketshare away from one operating system monopoly to another.
  • Good Decision (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MrCrassic (994046) <deprecated&ema,il> on Friday September 28, 2007 @12:41PM (#20784951) Journal

    ...but it was inevitable. Think about it: while Windows Vista is a great operating system and a recommended upgrade from Windows XP, it has been shown all too many times that there are still growing pains evident with it. There are many drivers that are still being tested and revised due to vastly new frameworks implemented by Microsoft (Creative's situation immediately comes to mind, even though it's thankfully been resolved). Furthermore, there are many software packages that have or will definitely have compatibility issues with Vista (financial applications are a huge example of this, since they tend to be much more conservative. I'm not including the super-large firms that absolutely need to continue relying on extremely antiquated software).

    While officially removing Windows XP support will be mostly transparent to end users, developers will be forced to migrate all of their time and energy to a new operating system with a lot of changes under the hood instead of spending time steadily updating current software while researching and testing compatible Vista software as well. Many IT managers and decision-makers will have to devote much more energy to supporting Vista faster, which can result in less-than-stellar results (it's corporate habit to accept a new operating system much later than their introduction).

    I think this is a good way for Microsoft to ensure that they keep the risks of transition as minimal as possible. Vista migration will undoubtedly happen, but it's best that it is slow and exceptional rather than rapid and disappointing (as many users are quickly finding out).

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by NetNed (955141)
      Have you not used Vista?
      Great wasn't the word I would pick to describe it. ME v.2.0 maybe, but surly not great.
      Ok maybe it is great, because since it came out I've gotten more business taking it off oem's and replacing it with XP. Thank you Microsoft!
    • by finkployd (12902)
      Think about it: while Windows Vista is a great operating system

      I am thinking about it, and I have never heard anyone who has used it make that claim. The best parts of Vista were cut out long before launch, the result is a mess reminiscent of Millennium Edition.

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Friday September 28, 2007 @12:43PM (#20784989)
    ...the allegations that their users claimed Vista is a pile of manure, the representative said "We wouldn't term it manure, we'd say it has very strong properties, promotes groth and has fertilizing capabilities."
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      ..the allegations that their users claimed Vista is a pile of manure, the representative said "We wouldn't term it manure, we'd say it has very strong properties, promotes groth and has fertilizing capabilities."

      Though that is what the rep claimed, independent testing showed that only odor has been inherited and rest of the beneficial aspects of manure have not been found in Vista.

  • by Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) on Friday September 28, 2007 @12:46PM (#20785029)
    Whoever came up with that tag is my hero.
  • That certain element is carbon. As in every life form.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 28, 2007 @12:51PM (#20785125)
    "Extends XP's Life"

    If I were a Windows user, this language would make me sick to my stomach. This is the reason I use GNU software: the "life" of that software is as long as somebody wants to use it. RMS isn't sitting in the offices of the FSF waiting to pull the plug on Linux 2.6 so that people have to buy Linux 2.8; (this might upset Linus a little bit too). Moreover, even "dead" GNU programs can come back to life, if somebody is willing to dig up the body and run it through the compile-o-matic.

    If the market wants Windows XP, let them buy it until there isn't enough plastic left on Earth to mint another CD. Software can't "die" unless a very greedy vendor decides to murder it in cold blood. "Extends XP's Life" should be rewritten "Decides Not to Shank XP/XP Users".

    Microsoft is playing chicken [wikipedia.org] with the free market, and they are going to lose.
  • by its real name? MS Windows Ooops, thereby making it more compatible with Gooooogle ???
  • Microsoft should abandon Vista, port the spiffy graphics back to XP, add a few more bells and whistles, and release the incrementally enhanced XP under the name Vista.

    That plan worked for Apple with Mac OS 8, didn't it?

    Oh, wait--Microsoft made the mistake of releasing VIsta. Too bad.
  • OK by MS? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bigdavex (155746) on Friday September 28, 2007 @12:56PM (#20785187)
    This doesn't seem like a huge disaster for Microsoft to me.

    These people are still buying a MS Windows license. Maybe they'll even buy an upgrade to Vista later.
    • These people are still buying a MS Windows license. Maybe they'll even buy an upgrade to Vista later.

      Not necessarily - If I'm a small-to-mid-sized business, I could simply buy all my new machines with no OS at all (it's a common option for business purchasers at most OEMs), and continue to use my existing licenses as long as I have enough of them to go around.

      This means that, instead of buying new shiny Vista licenses, I get to keep my old XP ones (and then use whichever extra ones are freed up by obsolescing old machines), which in turn means less money for MSFT - not only in that I'm not buying new

      • by Todd Knarr (15451)

        Unfortunately activation plays hob with that idea. When you replace the machine, your old copy won't activate since the hardware signature doesn't match. You need to call Microsoft to get a new code that'll work. If Microsoft starts refusing to give out those codes (they can legally do that already if you've an OEM copy of Windows that's only legal on the original hardware), your XP disc becomes a nice shiny coaster and your license a not-very-good paper to sop up a coffee spill with.

        • Perhaps, but that would depend on a lot of factors, first of which being how exactly you purchased the licenses. If they came one-at-a-time with an OEM computer purchase, then sure. Otherwise, you're perfectly legal with passing it around as a corporate image, which is what pretty much goes on now - even with smaller companies.

          Of course MSFT can refuse to activate 'em anyway - but if they're already running scared from their own kill-off deadlines, do you think they'd chance angering their business custom

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by snakecoder (235259)

      This does not affect their income, but it affects their stock price.

      Financially I think you might be right. They keep selling licenses. This is a HUGE failure for MS management. Essentially, they spent countless millions on something that is going nowhere and their revenue stream continues to come from a product that has already been established. Since the stock market is forward looking, this completely shakes investor confidence that MS management knows their head from their arse. I honestly don't kn
    • I think Microsoft might be missing a very large chunk of income that they expected to get from people purchasing Vista and Office 2007 at the same time.

      If you're downgrading to XP you'll just re-install whatever version of office you already have and presto microsoft's gravy train slows down by 50%.
    • The problem is that people are recycling XP licenses, that's why they want to kill it. You can buy a pc cover on ebay with the COA sticker on it, just so you can get around buying one.
  • By 'certain element' they mean almost everyone, and by 'more time' they mean 'forever since they refuse to upgrade'.
  • I love PR speak (Score:4, Interesting)

    by suv4x4 (956391) on Friday September 28, 2007 @01:04PM (#20785319)
    Microsoft representative sought to downplay the extension, stating 'We wouldn't term it strong, we would describe this as accommodating a certain element who needs more time.'

    Hmm...

    Journalist: "Did Vista fail?"
    Microsoft Representative: "I wouldn't say it failed. I'd say it successfully failed in succeeding to fail in successful failure."
    Journalist: "Oh.. right, exactly what I had in mind!"


    It's just so transparent when companies spin things, it hurts. And you know behind the curtains they shout and curse and spit, and say things like this:

    "I am not sure how the company lost sight of what matters to our customers (both business and home) [..] our teams lost sight of what bug-free means, what resilience means, what full scenarios mean, what security means, what performance means, [..] I see lots of random features and some great vision, but that doesn't translate into great products. I would buy a Mac today if I was not working at Microsoft."

    And, as you know, this is an actual quote from Jim Allchin's private email to Gates and Ballmer. Regarding Vista. Not quite like their public claims of vicious unstoppable wildfire Vista success, now, is it.
  • Who got their man unit fried exactly?
  • by Zombie Ryushu (803103) on Friday September 28, 2007 @01:08PM (#20785383)
    Those of us who support Linux, I stated on the last article like this, the slower adoption of Vista is, the more time it buys Windows users. So consider this. What happens if we get a "Golden" Wine that can run some killer Windows App XP can, Vista can't. All the sudden you have a small targeted dent in MS's market share that makes a big dent.

    What are some ways the calculating Linux user can use this to further undermine MS?
  • I've used vista and there are many thing that I dislike about it, not least it appears to have been designed by people from Marketing. I like my interfaces to be simple and clean, where as vista has too much going on, too many controlls within controls and special effects. I was very happy with the Win 2K and XP's interface.

    Another thing that bugs me are the X million flavours, can we just stick to Server, Pro and Home! and as to why the new functionality can't be integrated into XP is beyond me.

    Final
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by smash (1351)

      Finaly the resourses it take to run (largely because of a bloated GUI IMHO) are way out of proportion.

      The (optional, aero) GUI uses about 256mb of RAM.

      Or, in $ terms, approximately $20 worth in today's aussie dollars. Too much for you? CPU power wise, it runs just fine on a 5 year old machine. Much older than that and you're facing possible hardware failure due to age in any case.

      If you want to run some bunky old piece of shit hardware, stick with a bunky old piece of shit O/S (XP, dos, whatever.

  • I don't get it? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HalAtWork (926717) on Friday September 28, 2007 @01:10PM (#20785401)
    Why should a product that's designed to be used in a production environment receive an end-of-life? Shouldn't they have various platforms with ongoing support for different end-use? For example, companies have built software on Windows XP that refuse to work on later versions, or later versions have different properties (i.e. certain APIs no longer supported, 3rd party companion software that won't run on the new OS, different security model imposes different behaviour in the new OS, different licensing schemes not compatible with the software)... if MS cares about its developers that have invested in the platform they put out, wouldn't they keep supporting them? How could developers choose to program for a platform that's essentially a moving target that they can never lock down, and that they have to keep paying MS to use their own software, and even make changes to their software to accomodate MS's changes in their OS? Plus, every time you want to sell your solution to a customer, you have to charge them for MS's products as well. If you have software that requires Windows and Office, and you sell it to someone, you have to sell them Office and Windows and whatever other applications along with it, promoting MS's product, or at least putting your customers in the same position that MS is putting you in as a developer. Except that MS's support and guarantees are limited by their EULA. Isn't programming on Windows like an endless chase? Does it pay off in any way?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by realmolo (574068)
      Well, the Windows API hasn't really been a "moving target" for quite a while. Since Windows NT. Yeah, things have been added, but if you followed the rules, a 32-bit app written in 1995 should work just fine on Vista. Games being the exception.

      The thing is, MANY developers, especially the "in-house" developers at a lot of businesses, haven't exactly been following the rules. Microsoft has been tolerant of that for a long time, but with Vista, they are finally saying "Look. You HAVE to use Win32 and follow a
  • "We wouldn't term it strong, we would describe this as accommodating a certain element who needs more time."

    Like I said, Microsoft sells lies, not software. No Microsoft employee authorized to talk to the public - and most that aren't - are anything but liars.

  • Several articles on this story have pointed out "In addition, the company will continue to offer Windows XP Starter Edition in emerging markets where it is currently available for the rapidly growing class of hardware-constrained ultra-low cost PCs until June 30, 2010." So it looks like third world countries will be able to buy for an additional 2 years.
  • I was a bit worried about their end of life. Many people in the kiosk industry haven't upgraded from 2000 let alone XP to vista.

    My guess is the majority of kiosks you see in stores will be running XP for many years. There is little (no?) reason for these kiosks to upgrade to vista which means in a very short time tens of thousands of machines around the world will be unsupported, unmonitored and over taken by bot networks or trojans.
  • I work in an organisation who has a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement license so on Vista's launch I installed Vista Enterprise on a pretty crappy work PC (Dell GX240) and Vista Ultimate on my home PC (self made Athlon XP 2000+) to see what it was like and I still use them daily.

    And I have had no problems with instability and apart from an obscure Belkin USB IrDa device I have had no problems getting other devices to work, either with Vista drivers or XP Drivers and I find it stable and fast, apart for copying files which is a dog.

    At this point you may be thinking "Ah, he thinks Vista is great", but you'd be wrong. I quite like Aero, I love the way Vista Ultimate talks to my XBOX 360, but I'm left thinking "Is that it?" There is nothing there worth the £350 Microsoft is asking for the full version, asking that is taking the piss. The basic version I think is £100.. is it worth that.. even then probably not.

    While we have no plans to roll out Vista at work at the moment, we said to any of the IT support staff they could install it if they liked on their PCs/Laptops and only 2 of us (including me) did it out of 120 people.

    It seems no-one is really interested or cares about Vista.

    Jonathan
    ~~~~~~~~
    http://www.irvtheswerve.net/ [irvtheswerve.net]
    • It seems no-one is really interested or cares about Vista.

      That's the bottom line. People don't upgrade their operating system unless they have to. Upgrading is, for most people, traumatic and expensive... unless you get a huge win (like you got going from Windows 9x/Me to Windows 2000/XP) who's going to bother?

      This is, I suspect, one reason Apple doesn't want to be making their money from selling the OS. They get their profits from hardware, they don't lose much if someone doesn't bother to upgrade from Jag
  • I think Vista is slow to be adopted for a few reasons. It's different and non-technical people don't like different. I heard similar things about XP when it came out. It's more restrictive. Getting prompted to do little stupid things is annoying and not being able to do things you did in XP is equally frustrating. Need to upgrade PC's. Many people don't want to run it on their 3 or 4 year old PC and have it run sluggishly. Oh, and activation. I have to say though, I just bought a new laptop with Vis
  • "We wouldn't term it strong, we would describe this as accommodating a certain element who needs more time.'"

    Microsoft Sales Reps
  • Who cares (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MemoryDragon (544441) on Friday September 28, 2007 @04:28PM (#20788257)
    Vista was designed for the movie industry, but Microsoft forgot that the movie industry is not buying vista, the customers have to. Speaking of lost focus.

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