An article by Angus Kidman at Australia’s APC Magazine caused a bit of stir yesterday, because it reminded everyone of the end of general availability dates for Windows XP. Microsoft has the dates neatly summarized at their Windows Life-Cycle site (along with earlier client operating systems) and the net is that:
Large volume purchase customers that want to can continue to load XP on their systems via downgrade rights and most consumers probably want Vista anyway, but there’s apparently some push-back from small businesses:
Despite Microsoft’s relentless promotion of Vista, manufacturers are still seeing plenty of demand from customers for systems preloaded with XP, especially in the finicky SOHO market.
In a recent post on its Direct2Dell blog, Dell reaffirmed to concerned customers that it wasn’t about to force small business users — who typically purchase PCs piecemeal, rather than in large enterprise-style orders — to shift to Vista, which has experienced a less-than-stellar reaction from many buyers because of driver issues and moderately beefy hardware requirements.
“Dell recognizes the needs of small business customers and understands that more time is needed to transition to a new operating system,” the post read in part. “The plan is to continue offering Windows XP on select Dimension and Inspiron systems until later this [northern] summer.”
This is all standard operating procedure and unless Vista unexpectedly starts getting very bad user reviews is unlikely to change.