Microsoft: Go Ahead; You Can Use Windows XP Until 2020

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It’s long been known that businesses weren’t too interested in upgrading to Windows Vista from Windows XP.  There were delayed product development cycles, issues with compatibility, performance questions and more. Recently, the market was showing growth thanks, in part, to those businesses finally putting more dollars into infrastructure.

To help alleviate any fears some companies may have, MS has come out and said that businesses can keep downgrading – the process by which purchasing a current Windows 7 license confers upon the user the right to install and activate a copy of Windows XP – their new installations for another full decade.

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With the move coming just a day before the Redmond, WA software giant drops support for those using Windows XP SP2 (in other words, download SP3), Microsoft has set the industry abuzz with questions and comments.  It’s an extremely unlikely move for Microsoft to take. The company has been known to terminate the downgrade rights of those who don’t subscribe to one of its Software Assurance programs.

Even though the rights to downgrade to a copy of Windows XP from Windows 7 might be given, the rights to buy a machine with XP preinstalled are limited.  After October 22nd, anyone who wishes to run Windows XP with their Windows 7 downgrade will have to install it themselves.  Windows Vista can still be sold pre-installed for a year after that date.

No doubt the reason for the extension has to do with just how popular Windows XP is, especially for the business sect; 74% of enterprise computers are still thought to be running XP.  Businesses don’t like change – rallying around a single standard is often much cheaper in the long run, and Microsoft has just given them the ability to keep rallying around XP for a full decade more.




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