Microsoft Eats Humble Pie

Microsoft eats humble pie and announces Windows XP support to be extended to 13 years!

Microsoft took a large bite of humble pie this week, announcing that it will continue to support Windows XP until 2014. That’s an unprecedented 13 years from the operating system’s release, a new record for Microsoft’s support of an operating system. It will take the form of critical updates and security patches, but there was no mention of major service pack releases.

Hinting at Microsoft’s embarrassment over the announcement, the news was released via a letter sent from Microsoft senior VP Bill Veghte to customers, rather than a formal press release. Within the letter, Mr Veghte claimed that “Our ongoing support for Windows XP is the result of our recognition that people keep their Windows-based PCs for many years”. Sounds nice, but the truth isn’t quite as charitable. The fact is that Vista simply hasn’t penetrated businesses as quickly as Microsoft would have liked, with many choosing to stick with the proven stability and lower hardware demands of Windows XP.

In an extraordinary case of double speak, Mr Veghte confirmed that as of June 30, Windows XP will no longer be available at retail, and will also no longer be licensed directly to major PC manufacturers. Yet in the same breath, gave the cryptic explanation that “…customers who still need Windows XP will be able to get it.” (In the absence of any further explanation from Microsoft officials, we’re sure BitTorrent will fulfil many people’s needs for years to come.)

A major segment that is relying heavily upon this continued access to Windows XP is the ultra low-cost PC market. The flagship ultra low-cost PC, Asus’s Eee PC, is a prime example of why – it simply doesn’t have the oomph to power the resource-hungry Vista. With this market set to boom, the only other alternative – shipping with Linux – obviously doesn’t meet with Microsoft’s plans of continued global domination. I’m still trying to figure out how these low-cost manufacturers are going to “be able to get ” XP. Shifty guys wearing XP-laden trench coats, offering their illicit wares on street corners and back alleys?

For the immediate future, it looks like we’ll have to wait for Vista’s successor (currently code named Windows 7) to see any real improvement in the Microsoft operating system. Thanks Microsoft – and the beat goes on!

To add insult to injury….. Pirated Windows more impressive than the real thing!
The latest version of TinyXP has hit the pirate boards. SP3-integrated and with more tools than you can poke a stick at, it gives XP a new lease on life. Shame it’s illegal.One of the annoyances with installing a fresh copy of Windows XP these days is that the driver set is six years out of date, and there’s been a LOT of new hardware emerge since then. It’s one thing to install the latest graphics driver, but it’s another to have to set up everything from the chipset to the storage drivers. Sometimes you feel that after having spent half an hour installing XP, you’re spending twice that much time again to just get it functional.

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