Heed The Demand To 'Save XP'

Microsoft plans to stop selling the Windows XP operating system to retailers and manufacturers on June 30, but that hasn't stopped legions of supporters from using the Web to try to halt the inevitable move to Vista. More than 110,000 users have signed an online petition demanding XP be kept available.

It's a good idea. After June 30, only white-box system builders will be able to load new PCs with XP (which I bet will turn into a lucrative business for the channel.) Vista, meanwhile, has ignited little excitement among resellers and drawn criticism for its memory requirements, compatability issues and general performance. XP supporters are clamoring for Microsoft to keep selling XP (it already extended the deadline once) and to extend support beyond 2009.

The real problem with Vista is, no one is really sure they need it because XP works just fine. This is one of those cases where the market, not Microsoft, really should decide which operating system wins. If Vista really does offer great benefits, users will eventually realize it and it will win out. Meanwhile, with a little flexibility Microsoft will come off a lot less heavy-handed that it is now (and will benefit financially in any case since it sells both systems.) What's the big deal? Keep both systems available beyond June and let users make the choice.


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