Microsoft yesterday closed the Windows XP shop. From today the software giant will no longer sell copies of its XP operating system to retailers and major-name PC makers.
The company has faced significant pressure to extend its deadline for XP sales from consumers not wanting to upgrade to Windows Vista. The company originally planned to end support for XP in early 2009 but recently responded to consumer pressure and extended that 2014.
Although Windows XP will no longer be available to retailers and large-brand PC makers, Microsoft will continue to make XP available to small mom-and-pop system builders until the end of January 2009. Those smaller PC builders will still have access to XP for the machines they sell.
For brands such as Dell and HP, XP’s time is up and once their current stock runs out consumers will be forced to buy one of either Windows Vista Ultimate or Windows Vista Business. They may then have the option to "downgrade" to XP if they are determined to stick with XP.
Vista has had a string of bad publicity since its launch in January 2007 and many major users, including the likes of Intel, have announced that they will not upgrade to Windows Vista but rather wait until the release of Windows 7. That version of Microsoft’s operating system is expected to be available in 2010