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Microsoft Nixes XP Extended-Life Rumors

Windows XP, which will no longer be sold after June 30, will not get a reprieve despite Ballmer's quip at a press conference about relenting to customer feedback.

Microsoft's Windows XP operating system, which will no longer be sold after June 30, seemed to get a reprieve of sorts when Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer made a quip at a press conference about relenting to customer feedback. However, one of Microsoft's official PR agencies denied the suggestion that XP would get a break from its scheduled end date.

"Our plan for Windows XP availability is unchanged," read a statement issued by one of Microsoft's official PR agencies, as reported by a PCWorld article. "We're confident that's the right thing to do based on the feedback we've heard from our customers and partners."

XP licenses for new PCs won't be sold after June 30, but customers can downgrade to XP from Microsoft's current state-of-the-art OS, Microsoft Windows Vista. Downgrades can be done by the PC vendor or by users themselves. Several PC vendors are offering new PCs with XP downgrade options extending to as late as mid-2009 according to a ChannelWeb article.

Ballmer made the comment, offering hope for XP fans, at a news conference in Mons, Belgium, where Microsoft is planning to open a "Microsoft Innovation Center" at the Polytech Mons University.

"XP will hit an end-of-life," Ballmer reportedly said today. "We have announced one. If customer feedback varies we can always wake up smarter but right now we have a plan for end-of-life for new XP shipments."

Microsoft has already announced plans to extend new licenses for its Windows XP Home Edition to approximately June 30, 2010 for manufacturers of so-called ultra-low-cost PCs. Those machines typically lack the hardware resources and storage space needed to run Windows Vista.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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