Responding to user demand, Microsoft has reversed its decision to stop selling Windows XP from January next year, extending its deadline for the operating system to the end of June.
ITNews.com reports that the software giant decided to extend the deadline until the end of June to give customers – particularly small businesses – more time to switch to its new OS, Windows Vista.
"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," says Mike Nash, a corporate vice-president for Windows product management at Microsoft.
While software retailers and major computer makers like Dell and HP will stop offering XP next June, system builders, or smaller companies that make and sell PCs, will still sell the older operating system until the end of January 2009.
Nash says Microsoft's policy in the past has been to discontinue an old operating system four years after its launch. But because Vista reached consumers more than five years after XP, the company has had to revise the rules.
"Making it available through June was a little bit better" for customers, Nash says.
Microsoft is also extending the availability of a version of XP aimed at customers in emerging markets, Windows XP Starter Edition, until 30 June 2010.