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Microsoft: HP Gets Another Year of XP

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 29 comments

Looks as though Microsoft is feeling a bit generous, as the company is allowing HP to sell PCs with the Windows XP downgrade for another year.

It's no secret that corporations and home users alike have tried to steer away from Windows Vista since its initial launch. Unsatisfied with the Vista interface and performance, many consumers are now clamoring for the latest Windows incarnation in hopes for a better overall experience. Keeping that in mind, PC manufacturers are attempting to placate consumers by supplying the oldie-but-goody Windows XP operating system-- known for its great performance, stability, and easy user interface--on their machines.

Unfortunately, Microsoft handed the XP OS termination papers over to the cybernetic Grim Reaper, thus manufacturers are now limited to a certain number of XP solutions before the software officially goes flatline. As it stands, Microsoft will provide XP Pro Mainstream support until April 14, 2009, and Extended Hotfix Support until April 8, 2014. It's certainly unfortunate to see the end of a great, stable operating system, however based on feedback provided Windows 7 beta testers, consumers and businesses may have something to look forward to in the near future.

But for now, Microsoft is allowing manufacturers to keep Windows XP alive as a downgrade feature for pre-installed Windows Vista systems. Hewlett-Packard (HP) is one such company, and according to an article over on AppleInsider, Microsoft generously granted the PC giant an extension to its current Windows XP rights beyond that July 31 termination date. This means that HP can continue to provide the eight-year-old operating system on laptops, workstations, and business desktops for another year. However, neither company mentioned whether Windows XP Home editions would receive the same extension.

"Microsoft will allow PC OEMs to structure similar downgrade OS SKUs for Win 7 Professional once available," said HP. "No formal announcement has been made on the General Availability date for Win 7. However, you can anticipate that business desktops, notebooks and workstations will take advantage of this with the release of Win 7 in the October timeframe to allow our customers maximum headroom as they transition away from XP Pro OS. The Win 7 Professional to XP Pro downgrade OS will also discontinue on April 30th 2010."

Ultimately, Microsoft may find itself granting more extensions to other manufacturers including Acer and Dell, especially when said manufacturers are looking to release Ubuntu on PCs running customized versions of Linux (as already seen in the netbook market). Because Microsoft openly clarified that Windows 7 is an update version of Vista, manufacturers may find themselves in the same boat if Windows 7 reveals itself as "more of the same" in performance and consumer-oriented friendliness.

Keeping Windows XP is definitely a good thing, but eventually the old operating system will have to retire, and consumers will have to move on. There seems to be many positive attributes attached to the upcoming Windows 7 OS, a bright beacon during the dark days of Vista. But if things don't change in a year's time in regards to Windows 7 end-user reception, it will be interesting to see if Microsoft extends Windows XP again, or simply tells consumers, "that's enough, deal with it."

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  • 3 Hide
    chise1 , April 6, 2009 5:14 PM
    Hmmm, HP gets to continue selling PC's with a Windows XP downgrade option, and the latest Microsoft commercials both have their protagonists choosing HP computers in the end... Coincidence?
  • -1 Hide
    Greatwalrus , April 6, 2009 5:18 PM
    Yeah, I bet this is some ploy to up relations with HP so they will stop selling Linux with their PCs :p 

    By the way, how about a Windows XP 2.0, Microsoft?
  • 0 Hide
    thedipper , April 6, 2009 5:31 PM
    GreatWalrusYeah, I bet this is some ploy to up relations with HP so they will stop selling Linux with their PCs By the way, how about a Windows XP 2.0, Microsoft?

    They already answered the need for XP 2.0, it's Win7.

    No great feats of engineering with a good bit of UI polish = XP revisited.
  • Display all 29 comments.
  • 4 Hide
    joex444 , April 6, 2009 5:32 PM
    Ugh... this is so stupid. 8 year old OS instead of Windows 7? I can only imagine one reason to choose that: stubborn. You've learned XP and understand it. You're afraid of change and fear Windows 7. You never actually tried Vista and fear it based on "rumors" from its early days where nVidia drivers were poorly written. Honestly, some of the complaints I've seen for Vista are just user ignorance. Hate UAC? Turn it off; sure, it offers no protection, but its not less secure this way than your beloved XP. Don't like where they put the menu items... sorry, just adapt it won't take long. Don't see a "run" option? Hit Windows+R or hell, just enable it on the start menu options. Laugh at these examples? They were part of an article explaining why Vista is so bad posted on C|Net / ZDNet. This is where people get their information from folks, and if they're reading this junk then they probably believe it and will choose XP over Vista. I'll grant that XP is a bit faster, but in 2009 we have dual core 4GB systems as entry level, with quad core 8GB being more in line with what most THG users probably have. How slow could one OS be on this hardware to make you absolutely hate it and want XP? The difference is measured in ms, and in games we're talking 1-2 fps. You can tell the difference between 57.8 and 59.2fps? Really?

    Hopefully Windows 7 will let us move on. This XP vs Vista debate has gone on far too long and the large base of stubborn XP users has impeded progress / change. Fact of the matter is Microsoft rewrote its kernel, hence why drivers needed to be rewritten. You can't deny that every software company is writing programs to run on Vista and Windows 7. You're stuck in XP, it won't be long before programs have to be released in two stages: Windows 7 first, then XP.

    Plus, if you're running more than 4GB you need XP x64. The driver situation here is actually worse than Vista x64. You don't get any compatibility points for XP x64.

  • 3 Hide
    thedipper , April 6, 2009 5:51 PM
    XP actually hasn't been faster in Vista since SP1, and a lot of the comparison charts were false. Vista is actually faster in certain situations.
  • 9 Hide
    theJ , April 6, 2009 5:52 PM
    joex444Ugh... this is so stupid. 8 year old OS instead of Windows 7? I can only imagine one reason to choose that: stubborn.


    I admit i'm one of the stubborn, though it's actually more because my laptop was purchased in 2005, and wouldn't run Vista with any sort of speed.

    I switched to Ubuntu a few months ago on that PC, and am holding off on getting another computer until Windows 7 has been out for a while (maybe 2nd quarter next year) and has proven to be the next "XP".

    I think many people simply don't want to switch over because they don't see Vista lasting. Who would want to buy an operating system that is going to be obsolete within 3 months? Personally, when i build my next computer, i don't want to have to worry about upgrading the OS within the life of the machine.
  • 0 Hide
    thedipper , April 6, 2009 5:56 PM
    He didn't mean people should move to Vista now, he means that most people should have moved to Vista about a year ago.
  • 0 Hide
    hellwig , April 6, 2009 6:28 PM
    joex444, do you work for Microsoft, do you get a commission for every XP user you turn over to Vista? Why do you care what OS people use? My biggest problem with Vista is that I don't see any reason to pay $200+ for it. It was bad enough I paid $200 for a Windows XP Pro Upgrade License 6 years ago (when I finally moved to XP), but XP is a world apart from Windows Millenium Edition. Vista isn't that much of an improvement over XP, especially if you turn off Aero and disable UAC (you take away its fancy graphics and security).
  • 3 Hide
    hixbot , April 6, 2009 6:42 PM
    Corporations and government want XP machines, whether their machines are brand new or 5 years old. There is demand for XP on new hardware. This has nothing to do with home users or gamers. We're talking Microsofts biggest customers, office users.
  • 1 Hide
    theJ , April 6, 2009 6:44 PM
    thedipperHe didn't mean people should move to Vista now, he means that most people should have moved to Vista about a year ago.


    But again, why would you move if the talk is generally negative? What's the incentive? You have a good OS in XP already. And in the past, when an OS is not well received, it doesn't last very long. Why buy a new OS if you know you've got to upgrade it again within the life of the machine?
  • 0 Hide
    pharge , April 6, 2009 7:00 PM
    I am ok w/ the VISTA home prem on my laptop (C2D T7500 2.2GHZ 2G memory and 8400M GS). I like the small goodies in the vista and I am defintely having less blue screen of death (my programs still crash just less crash in the system level).
    However the price I paid...
    1) even w/ C2D 2.2G and 2G RAM, my new laptop is not significant faster than my old one or even my old Athlon desktop w/ xp (I know it is not fair to compair desktop and laptop..... but lower than an old athlon + AGP graphic card + xp system on DX8 games (for example: Final Fantasy XI)... that is a little too much for me).
    2) I can not play some of my old favorate games on my vista system (sush as Railroad tycon III) even with some twist.
    I agree that vista is not as bad as people are talking about. However, for people who have a not so perfect system or expect to have a big big profermance jump from an old xp system to a new C2D vista on some old DX8 games... they may be disappointed.

    By the way: "according to an article over on AppleInsider, Microsoft generously granted the PC giant an extension to its current Windows XP rights beyond that July 31 termination date. "... a microsoft vista news from the "AppleInsider"?? hmm... that is an interesting source of information... wondering how people think about vista there? guess kind of different than us here.. :p  ..lol
  • -2 Hide
    the_one111 , April 6, 2009 7:19 PM
    The only reason (IMO) MS made Windows 7 is because vista got so much bad hype from the ignorant teeming masses that they said "Hell, we will release a new OS, with all the new features of vista, and some even newer ones. Wrap that up with some fancy graphics and its GG!"

    Which is true.

    *patiently awaiting windows 7*
  • 0 Hide
    rooket , April 6, 2009 7:31 PM
    I don't like the vista file explorer. Windows XP feels a lot easier to use and I know where everything is in it right away. Vista just seemed to downgrade the user interface experience although it has spiffy stuff such as Aero.
  • 0 Hide
    pharge , April 6, 2009 7:33 PM
    the_one111The only reason (IMO) MS made Windows 7 is because vista got so much bad hype from the ignorant teeming masses that they said "Hell, we will release a new OS, with all the new features of vista, and some even newer ones. Wrap that up with some fancy graphics and its GG!"Which is true.*patiently awaiting windows 7*


    I still remember the hype people has before MS releasing vista...

    Now I can not help to think what will people think about win7 this time next year or 2.

    Hope Win7 final version is going to be as good as they promis (or at least not too far from they promis now).
  • 0 Hide
    plbyrd , April 6, 2009 7:58 PM
    "Keeping Windows XP is definitely a good thing, "

    No, it is not. XP is far more likely to be hacked than Vista and doesn't include critical security features other than UAC such as user-mode drivers. It's disingenuous for any tech to try to prop up XP over Vista, it's really just a matter of doing anything they can to whip on Vista publicly despite the fact that Vista's growing pains are far behind it.

    And let's not forget the chilling effect that XP has on hardware. With XP Pro 32-bit, there's no incentive at all to include more than 4GB or RAM nor include a DX 10 graphics solution. Microsoft is doing a real disservice to the entire industry by allowing the fear-mongerers to continue to publicly subvert the entire market so they can get their jollies undermining Vista.
  • 0 Hide
    grieve , April 6, 2009 8:41 PM
    rooketI don't like the vista file explorer. Windows XP feels a lot easier to use and I know where everything is in it right away. Vista just seemed to downgrade the user interface experience although it has spiffy stuff such as Aero.

    I have used Vista Ultimate64 since the day it was released…

    I have much experience with the Vista file system (not saying you don’t) and I agree, I do like XP’s file system better then Vista’s. I think it is something that worked well and did not require changes.

    I always defend Vista to everyone, I like it… But I also still have dual boot XPpro32 just in case. I look forward to Win7, perhaps I can run just one OS finally.

  • 1 Hide
    vaskodogama , April 6, 2009 8:53 PM
    I Really Patiently Waiting for 7, like I waited for Vista, and Love it from the first day of using it...
    If you like, thumb me down, but it's time to move on to something new, OK, vista is a failure, like Win ME, but come on, XP is an old dog! you can do maths even with a abacus [XP], but will you when you have something far more advanced like a Digital Calculator [Win7]?
    MS must not give another company a 1 YEAR XP downgrade option!
  • 0 Hide
    grieve , April 6, 2009 10:55 PM
    vaskodogamaI Really Patiently Waiting for 7, like I waited for Vista, and Love it from the first day of using it...If you like, thumb me down, but it's time to move on to something new, OK, vista is a failure, like Win ME, but come on, XP is an old dog! you can do maths even with a abacus [XP], but will you when you have something far more advanced like a Digital Calculator [Win7]?MS must not give another company a 1 YEAR XP downgrade option!

    I agree completely… XP is an old dog, time for something new already.

    However, I do believe Vista’s low acceptance is based on ignorance not fact.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , April 6, 2009 11:56 PM
    I have not seen a reason to update to Vista.

    What real benefit do you receive?DX10?A shiny new interface?Great networking "features"?

    Microsoft know how to make money and that is to release new products making the old ones obsolete.

    XP is fast and stable, and gives me everything that I want in a gaming OS... for now! After working all day on computers it is nice to come home and just know where everything is. Personally I would rather put effort into developing my next Linux project server rather than waste time trying to figure out where MS has moved all the buttons and icons to this time. :) 



  • 0 Hide
    belardo , April 7, 2009 12:05 AM
    Quote:
    However, I do believe Vista’s low acceptance is based on ignorance not fact.


    However, your "beliefs" are based on your opinions, not facts.

    XP > Vista issue is not the same as Win98 > XP. Win98 was MS's first consumer GUI OS. XP, based off of Win2000 is a different beast. There was never a question that XP was better than Win98. Its issues we more to do with things like Activation (still hate it) and privacy (Worse on vista and Win7).

    XP is old, whoopie. OS X is still OLDER than XP, yet still more polished than XP or Vista. If you think about it, XP-MCE is a nice update (Vista looks a bit like MCE).

    And besides, you and any other MS-Vista cry-baby (I know some of you guys work for MS and/or worked on vista) go nuts if anyone says one neg about vista... guess what. YOU DON'T own me or the companies who bought their computers. Its their bloody choice, its their money. And with Win7 coming around the corner (along with a new Office), that'll be the time to go from XP to something new... another 6 months isn't going to kill me or anyone else! Thanks to vista (but also crappy economy) memory is dirt cheap (4GB $20~30) X2 CPUs are $50~100, X3 CPUs are $100 so making a bloated OS like vista (and Win7) run well shouldn't be a problem.

    At this time... there if someone TODAY is still using an XP box and buying or building a new PC - they should go ahead and get it with XP (today) if they want to and move to Win7 later...

    For most home users, vista should be fine. $350~400 gets you a dual core AMD with 3GB of RAM... enough to check your email.
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