Microsoft has issued a letter to its Windows customers that details the fate of XP, Vista improvements, and some details about Windows 7.
June 30, 2008 will be the last day for Windows XP sales – it will no longer be licensed to major PC makers and sold at retail. Microsoft will provide extended support for XP until April of 2014. Microsoft is not cutting off the availability of Windows XP entirely, however. Businesses will be able to purchase Vista Business or Ultimate and have “downgrading” rights to use Windows XP. Downgrade rights are available to all businesses that license Windows. Windows XP Home and Starter Edition will still be available on low-cost “netbooks” and “nettops”.
Microsoft says they have made significant progress with Windows Vista since its release, harping on increased security and a better overall user experience. They say Windows Vista is a great step forward.
Windows 7, the successor of Windows Vista, is slated for release three years after the general availability of Windows Vista, meaning sometime in January 2010. Windows 7 will be built off of the same core architecture of Windows Vista to ensure a straightforward migration process.