Back in August I was speculating that the desultory enterprise adoption of Vista would force Microsoft to extend the availability of Windows XP and today that was realized as Microsoft added 5 months to the XP OEM and retail availability.
In an effort to respond to feedback the company is hearing from its customers and partners, Microsoft is extending availability of Windows XP editions among original equipment manufacturers (OEM) and retail channels for an additional five months to June 30, 2008.
Microsoft corporate VP Mike Nash also makes an interesting observation:
As a practical matter, most of our previous operating system releases were available for about two years after the new version shipped, so maybe we were a little ambitious to think that we would need to make Windows XP available for only a year after the release of Windows Vista.
So why not just make it a full two years and extend retail and OEM XP availability to January 31, 2009 when system builder availability is already scheduled to end? I also have to observe that mainstream support for all normal versions of Windows XP is nominally supposed to end on April 14, 2009. That’s less than a year after the new availability end date, so I have to wonder when that will also get extended?
Finally, Microsoft also extended the availability of the crippled Windows XP Starter Edition until June 30, 2010 because it is apparently being put on some machines that can’t handle Vista and will continue to be for a number of years. Who knows about end of support there – it doesn’t appear on the usual list.