'Save XP' Campaign Gathers Momentum

Dennis Faas's picture

It's usually Linux users who get most passionate about their operating system, followed by Mac advocates. However, Microsoft's plans to axe the Windows XP seem to have uncovered some serious devotees.

A petition started by tech journalist Galen Gruman now has more than 100,000 signatures from people urging Microsoft to keep the system available beyond the planned withdrawal. As things stand, XP will continue to be available to buy separately (both in physical and download version) until the end of June. Hardware manufacturers can sell machines with XP until the end of the year.

While XP has its fans, it seems most of those backing the petition are motivated more by a dislike of Vista. Many believe it's not as reliable as XP, while others don't think it's advantages are worth the expense of upgrading.

Gruman cites Windows 98, which was supposed to be ditched once Windows ME (Millenium) debuted. In the event, the new edition didn't work well with a lot of makes of computer, so Windows 98 stayed on sale much longer than planned. (Source: infoworld.com)

Microsoft has already put back XP's withdrawal once and doesn't seem to have any plans to do so again. They've refused to meet Gruman to discuss his concerns.

However, even if Microsoft stops selling XP, they'll face pressure over customer support. At the moment they plan to scale back measures, such as offering free advice and processing warrant claims in April next year. One analyst believes 70% of businesses will still run XP at the end of 2008 and predicts Microsoft won't risk upsetting such a large proportion of their customer base. (Source: digital-lifestyles.info)

Regardless of the petition's success, the proportion of people using Vista is bound to rise because most new machines will come with it already installed. The question is whether that happens before the next edition of Windows (currently known only as Windows 7) is released in 2009 or 2010.

It's certainly possible that many XP users, particularly cash-strapped businesses, will hold on until then and skip Vista altogether.

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