- Just when you thought it was safe to convert to Windows Vista, Microsoft changes its mind, again. This soap opera is getting to be a little old.
In early October, Microsoft admitted that it didn't discontinue XP in June after all, and would continue selling via system builders through January 2009. This is accomplished via "downgrade" rights: Dell, for example, will sell you a system with Windows XP Professional installed, but it also includes the latest version of Vista.
Meanwhile, you can still buy boxed XP at Amazon, among other places. The June deadline in itself was an extension, and there's some suggestion that, for corporate customers at least, Microsoft may extend the extension of the extension.
Looking a little further down the line, Microsoft may make Vista irrelevant with the release of Windows 7, which could come as early as 2010. Does anyone seriously expect MIS departments to invest in conversion costs and new hardware, a Vista requirement, in the middle of a recession?
As I wrote a while back, Vista is slower and less compatible than XP, but it does cost more. There are some security improvements, but that doesn't matter to the corporate crowd, which deals with security institutionally. Home users should care, but all most notice the more annoying pop-up warnings...