Microsoft announced that support for Windows XP will end on April 14, helping the company make room for its much maligned Windows Vista operating systems and then clearing the way for redemption in the form of its Windows 7 OS. However, users will still have the option of downgrading to Windows XP from Windows 7 after the latter is released, even though mainstream support for XP will have ended. Windows XP continues to be used by a sizable percentage of the enterprise.
looks like it will offer users of its
upcoming Windows 7 the option to downgrade to Windows XP, which remains popular
among both enterprise and general users, according
to some reports that have begun to spring up around the Web.
While no definite date has been given yet, the final version
will likely be released in late 2009 or early 2010. The BBC and tech
Website Ars Technica both suggested that end users and those purchasing
licenses in bulk would have the option to downgrade to XP.
Further rumors, unconfirmed by Microsoft, have Hewlett-Packard
selling computers pre-installed with XP until April 10, 2010, roughly six months
after the release of Windows 7. Should that be the case, other PC makers may
Despite XP refusing to leave the stage quite yet, Microsoft
plans on ending free support for XP Home and Professional, as well as Office
2003, on April 14 - although it will continue to supply security updates. Those
users who want assistance for their aging XP-running system will need to pay for
As of April 14, non-security
hotfix support for Office 2003 and Windows XP
will now require an extended
hotfix agreement purchased within 90 days of that date.
Originally codenamed "Whistler," Windows XP was released in
2001 and, despite its age, a
steady stream of patches has kept it robust,
particularly for enterprise
use. Despite Vista's incremental market-share gains, Windows XP remains the
most-used operating system in both general use and the enterprise.
has been touting Windows 7 as a particularly strong enterprise operating
The company has focused on integrating the newest edition with
streamlined PC management, improved security and control, and giving users
increased functionality while mobile.