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Microsoft extends Windows XP lifespan through 2011

Windows XP
Microsoft is having a pretty hard time killing off Windows XP. Once upon a time, you could reliably count on Microsoft to release a new version of DOS and then Windows every few years. The new versions typically offered significant improvements in speed and stability as well as new features. But a funny thing happened with Windows XP. Many users found it was good enough for daily use -- even 8 years after the operating system was launched.

Microsoft had planned to phase out Windows XP after introducing Vista, but demand for the older operating system remained high. And while you can't just go out and purchase a boxed copy of XP anymore, you can get it preinstalled on a netbook, and in some cases you can purchase a new computer with Vista and acquire Windows XP "downgrade" rights.

Now it looks like Microsoft will continue to offer downgrade rights for up to 18 months after the introduction of WIndows 7. Computer World is reporting that Microsoft will make Windows XP available as late as April, 2011. The move should give enterprise users who haven't switched to Vista time to make the transition from Windows XP to Windows 7 without rushing.

But it does raise a question. Sure, Windows 7 has improved graphics, an enhanced GUI, and better security features than Windows XP. But is that enough to convince you to upgrade? Or would you be happy using Windows XP for the next 10 years as long as software makers keep pumping out compatible applications?

Tags: osupdates, windows-7, windows-xp