REDMOND, USA - Microsoft said it will extend availability of the operating system's predecessor, Windows XP,sesponding to some customers' lukewarm embrace of Windows Vista.
Microsoft said it will make the full version of Windows XP available to PC manufacturers and retailers through June 30, 2008. It will continue to offer a basic edition in emerging markets through June 2010.
The company introduced Windows XP in late 2001. The company ordinarily makes operating systems available only for four years after launch date. But delays in producing Windows Vista, which debuted in January, forced Microsoft to continue selling Windows XP longer than planned.
In recent months, Microsoft had pegged Windows XP's official expiration date at Jan. 30. That will fall by the wayside in favor of the new dates, Microsoft said.
"While we’ve been pleased with the positive response we’ve seen and heard from customers using Windows Vista, there are some customers who need a little more time to make the switch to Windows Vista," said Mike Nash, Microsoft's Windows product manager, in a statement posted on the company's Web site.
He was bullish about Vista sales despite the U-turn on XP. "With more than 60 million licenses sold as of this summer, Windows Vista is on track to be the fastest-selling operating system in Microsoft’s history. And while many large businesses are moving incredibly fast to Windows Vista," Nash said.
Initially, leading PC makers were scheduled to discontinue selling XP after the last day of Jan. 2008. However,they asked Microsoft to allow them to continue selling PCs with all types of Windows XP preloaded till June 30. In addition, Microsoft will continue to offer Windows XP Starter Edition in emerging markets where it is currently available for the rapidly growing class of hardware-constrained ultra-low cost PCs until June 30, 2010.