Windows XP was theoretically replaced by Windows Vista almost two years ago now. But many, many people still prefer to buy computers loaded with XP than with Vista. That’s surely not a reality that Microsoft is very happy with, but it’s one that it has to deal with. And so the company keeps giving XP brief new leases on life, to the point where many users will be able to segue directly from XP to Windows 7 and pretend that Vista never existed.
ChannelWeb is reporting that system builders–the companies that make “white box” PCs that aren’t marketed like ones from the big guys–will be able to get their hands on copies of XP through May 30th; the cut-off date had previously been January 31st. ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley notes that the deadline for netbooks (which Microsoft likes to call Ultra Low-Cost PCs, or ULPCs) still seems to be June 30th, 2010.
The deadline for major manufacturers was June 30th of this year. Which hasn’t stopped them from using various workarounds to continue to give customers the operating system they want.
I’m glad that there are still quiet, convoluted options for people who want XP to get it. But wouldn’t it have been cool if Microsoft had taken the opportunity to openly reconsider XP’s fate and simply extend sales for all comers? Wouldn’t it have gotten the company tons of favorable publicity? Doesn’t it make sense, as a rule, to give your customers what they say they want from you if you possibly can?
Years ago, Corel had an interesting sales strategy with its CorelDraw package. It kept two or three versions on the market at a time, with earlier editions available at a discount from the newest one’s price. It would have been interesting to see Microsoft pursue an interesting approach. Even if it were XP, rather than Vista, that some people would have been willing to pay a premium for…