Ballmer: XP will stay if customers want it

Written by Tim Smalley

April 25, 2008 // 12:21 p.m.

Tags: #ballmer #customer #demand #end-of-life #feedback #microsoft #shipping #vista #windows #xp

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has said that the software giant may re-evaluate its plans to stop shipping Windows XP to customers and system builders on 30th June if its customer feedback changes.

"XP will hit an end-of-life. We have announced one. If customer feedback varies, we can always wake up smarter, but right now, we have a plan for end-of-life for new XP shipments, said Ballmer in a news conference on Thursday.

Ballmer made it clear that most retailers and PC makers are now choosing Vista over XP, and he said that most consumers are also purchasing Vista these days. While that may be true, Ballmer neglected to mention the fact that Windows XP is becoming harder and harder to find.

System builders are still scheduled to stop selling machines with Windows XP installed by the end of June, although technical support will be available to XP customers until April 2009 and what Microsoft calls "extended support" will continue until April 2014.

It's important to note that Ballmer hasn't said that Microsoft is going to extend the availability of Windows XP and he certainly hasn't given any guarantees. A lot of things would have to change for Windows XP to continue to be available for most users after 30th June – although it will be available for ultra-low-cost PCs like the Asus Eee PC.

Ballmer did acknowledge that there are still markets for XP. In particular, he referenced businesses and explained that IT departments often have to work with older machines that are unable to run Vista.

Do you think Microsoft will extend XP availability beyond 30th June? Share your thoughts in the forums.

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