Save Windows XP! The clock is ticking

Microsoft will end OEM and shrink-wrapped sales of Windows XP on June 30, 2008, forcing users to shift to Vista. (System builders, meaning those who do white-box PCs, can sell XP through December 31.) Don’t let that happen!

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Don’t think Microsoft will listen? Consider this: Although Microsoft denies that anything is wrong with Vista or that most people don’t want it, the company has already postponed XP’s demise by six months. That’s a start, but it’s not good enough.

Microsoft doesn’t have to admit failure; it can just say it will keep XP available indefinitely due to customer demand. It can take that opportunity to try again with a better Vista, or just move on to the next version that maybe this time we’ll all actually want.

There is a precedent for that, too: In many respects, Vista is like the Windows Millennium Edition that was meant to replace Windows 98 in 2000 but caused more trouble than it was worth. At that time, Windows 2000 was promising but didn’t support a lot of hardware, so users were stuck between two bad choices. Without admitting Millennium’s failure, Microsoft quietly put Windows 98 back on the market until the fixed version of Windows 2000 (SP1) was available. Microsoft needs to do something like that again today.


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