Almost eight months have passed since the launch of Windows Vista, but Microsoft is going to great lengths to keep Windows XP alive. Back in January, the company said it had extended the support period for Windows XP Home and Windows XP Media Center Edition until April 2009. Then, in April of this year, we learned that Microsoft was giving PC vendors until January 2008 to phase out XP from pre-built PCs. CNet now reports that the software giant has given PC vendors a five-month extension, allowing them to keep selling PCs pre-loaded with XP until June 30, 2008.
The move is a result of lobbying from large PC vendors, some of whom have also launched programs to let users downgrade to XP on systems that come pre-loaded with Vista. Fujitsu has even started shipping Vista Business-powered notebooks with a Windows XP restore CD. A Fujitsu executive spoke to CNet, saying, "This [move] allows the installed base of Windows XP users more time to manage the transition to Vista, which is important for some smaller companies with limited resources."
Microsoft isn't showing signs of worry regarding XP's continued popularity, though. Windows Client unit Director Kevin Kutz told CNet old operating systems used to remain available "for around 18 months" after the launch of their successors. He added, "While Windows Vista sales are still going strong...we recognize there are some customers that need more time."