Microsoft to phase out XP

DQC Bureau
New Update

Microsoft has announced its approach to the phasing out of Windows XP and its future plans for Windows Vista. Though June 30 was the last date for the retail availability of XP, the company assured that XP customers would continue to receive support from Microsoft. “We recently released Service Pack 3 for Windows XP and will continue to provide security updates and other critical updates for Windows XP until April, 2014. Our ongoing support for Windows XP is the result of our recognition that people keep their Windows-based PCs for many years and a reflection of our commitment to provide the highest level of support for all our customers,” said Prasanna Meduri, Director-Windows Client Business Group, Microsoft India

While Windows XP will no longer be available through retail outlets and Microsoft OEM partners, it will be available to buyers of assembled PCs until Jan 31, 2009, through the company's system builder partners. The company recently also introduced a version of Windows XP for the ultra low-cost PC (ULCPC) category, and this version of Windows XP will be available till June 30, 2010.

In addition, for small to large size businesses, buying Windows Vista Business or Windows Vista Ultimate, Microsoft provides the option to use Windows XP Professional through a customer benefit known as 'downgrade rights.' Downgrade rights are also available to all business customers holding licensed Windows, such as Windows Vista Enterprise, through Microsoft Volume Licensing programs. Meduri said, “In addition, some of our OEM partners are planning to offer services designed to help business customers who buy these versions of Windows Vista on new PCs to exercise their downgrade rights. This is a great value because it lets customers use Windows XP on PCs today if they need it and then make the move to take advantage of the additional capabilities of Windows Vista when they are ready, without having to pay for an upgrade.”

Talking about the reasons behind the discontinuation of Windows XP, Meduri added, “Since launch, our investments in Windows Vista have paid back-during 2007, Windows Vista had half the number of critical vulnerabilities compared to what Windows XP Service Pack 2 had, during the same time period. PCs running Windows Vista were 60 percent less likely to be infected by malware than those running Windows XP Service Pack 2. The phishing filter in Internet Explorer 7-which is included with Windows Vista-stops about one million phishing attempts every week.”

The company is now geared to focus fully on Windows Vista. It has improved significantly the device compatibility of Windows Vista, which has increased to include 77,000 components and devices-more than what it supported at the time of its launch. “A reaffirmation of the successes we've had through the work in this area is our OEM that reduces system boot times by almost half, and system resume time from 15 seconds to two seconds. By improving driver quality, we also helped OEM partners extend battery life by an average of 10 percent, and in one case, we were able to gain 30 minutes additional battery life with a single driver change,” said Meduri.