XP is like that houseguest you can never get to leave. Microsoft is now giving computer manufacturers up to 18 months — or until April 2011 — to offer “downgrade” options from Windows 7 for customers. The concession by Redmond is a victory for companies who had been pushing for the extension to minimize the pain of upgrading to the newest operating system.
Many of these companies are not expected to be ready to make the upgrade until 2010 or even 2011. Thus, any computers bought during this period would still need XP installed. Microsoft had said it would only give a six month grace period before, but this was criticized as too short.
It also would increase upgrade costs. After the deadline, companies would have to buy a new PC with Vista Business or Ultimate, and then downgrade to XP (these two versions have downgrade rights). From there, it would have to purchase Windows 7 to upgrade, and it would end up paying twice over for this process.
This seems like a fair method to handle any possible upgrading issues. After all, XP is now eight years old – so it’s time for companies to start thinking about upgrading. At the same time, there’s a lot of mission critical programs that need to be updated themselves to handle Windows 7, so it gives those developers some extra time to work.