Microsoft extends XP downgrade option for OEMs to 2011

Microsoft will be extending the Windows XP downgrade option until 2011. While Microsoft has threatened to halt the option on numerous occasions, it has yet to set a date, write it in stone and actually make good on the promise.

Windows XP has been the corner stone for Microsoft as Windows Vista was largely rejected by businesses and consumers due to its initial rocky start. With Windows 7 right around the corner Microsoft will be looking to phase out XP but still must do so in a cautious manor.

The reason behind the extension was that the Windows XP downgrade option was originally set to take place 6 months after the launch of 7 and business that have large scale Windows XP deployments may not be ready to convert to Windows 7 in as little as six months, or at least stop purchasing OEM systems with it as an option. As a result, the option to downgrade to XP has been extended to 2011. Enterprise customers on Microsoft's Software Assurance program can downgrade Windows 7 licenses all the way back to Windows 95 or Windows NT 3.51.

Windows XP has been given an extended stay of execution but its not expected Microsoft will keep the dated OS on life support forever. With Windows 7 receiving high praise for its stability and usability, look for corporate wide rollouts of Windows 7 in the next 12-18 months.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Colbert takes swipe at Microsoft, Project Natal

Next Story

Microsoft to revamp MSN, include stronger Bing ties

37 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

It's absolutely great to run a ten year old operating system. My Mac Pro just wouldn't be the same without Mac OS 9... I would still run System 1 if I could but sadly the operating system doesn't support my hardware.

I have had a number of family and friends come up to me asking me why their Blu-ray player in their VAIO computers won't work. Thinking its simply a driver issue I tell them to update it... but then I find out that they are running XP (Which they requested) and I have to break it to them that XP doesn't support Blu-ray players.

Ugh. I absolutely HATE looking at Windows XP every day for work. So much so that I started taking my MacBook to work and using that more as my primary machine. At least that way, I can run OS X or Windows 7, depending on my mood. Yes, XP is a stable, steady operating system, but for the love of God, after 7 years, I am completely sick and tired of using it. Yet, I don't see our company moving to Vista or 7 anytime in the next few years. Our employees scream and whine and cuss about even the most minor of changes - moving to a new OS will be a nightmare.

chaos_disorder said,
Ugh. I absolutely HATE looking at Windows XP every day for work. So much so that I started taking my MacBook to work and using that more as my primary machine. At least that way, I can run OS X or Windows 7, depending on my mood. Yes, XP is a stable, steady operating system, but for the love of God, after 7 years, I am completely sick and tired of using it. Yet, I don't see our company moving to Vista or 7 anytime in the next few years. Our employees scream and whine and cuss about even the most minor of changes - moving to a new OS will be a nightmare.

XP is boring. I still using it beacuse of my PC, I dont have money to upgrade PC parts or neither buy a new one :(.

I don't care how XP looks, we still run it because of compatibility. Moving on to a new OS means introducing a new environment and running it in mixed mode, whilst also having to re-certify every app we have so that it works with Win 7.

XP is boring.

Personally I don't use a computer to look at the OS, in fact the less I see of it the better. A computer is a tool, and the only thing I want to see is the software I run on it.

microsofts flaw is that windows xp was too perfect. infact the best OS theyve made if you ask me

personally i go by the rule if its not broke dont fix it and i'm still running xp too. its lightning quick on my core 2 quad, even more so than vista/7. as much as i love windows 7 i still keep coming back to xp

stezo2k said,
microsofts flaw is that windows xp was too perfect. infact the best OS theyve made if you ask me

This could quite possibly be the most incorrect thing I've ever read, and I once read that blue and red were the same color.

Go install WinXP pre SP2 and then come and talk about how good an OS it is... The release of windows xp was no different than the release of windows vista it was just so long ago that people dont remember it... it has taken 8 years for MS to get xp as stable as it is today it, unlike windows 7, didnt come that way. The fact that you and everybody else are still clinging to it makes me think of a 15 year old. clinging to an old patched blanket when he has had since he was 2... its just sad...

Is this the thread where people get on their soap box and preach about how XP is too old and nobody should use it?

TRC said,
Is this the thread where people get on their soap box and preach about how XP is too old and nobody should use it?

or it this the thread where everyone who won't upgrade because vista/7 is the suck soap box?
all i can say is that if you don't upgrade to 7 you are missing something. it is all that they say it is. i use the RC and it is fast, reliable and runs my old hardware better than xp ever did. imho

Actually I'm using Vista on my main system and XP on my older one, so I don't think it's "the suck". I'm just saying people that whine and complain about OTHER people's choices are annoying. They should just shut up and use the OS they like and let others do the same.

TRC said,
Actually I'm using Vista on my main system and XP on my older one, so I don't think it's "the suck". I'm just saying people that whine and complain about OTHER people's choices are annoying. They should just shut up and use the OS they like and let others do the same.

That's true but not upgrading because winxp is the "best" is ludicrous, and no one needs to upgrade really.
thier are many reasons to upgrade but larger companies have a problem with the cost they say. it will actually cost more to support winxp when 7 comes out. 7 will run anything that xp has on it and the newer hardware that comes out will be supported by 7, not xp. i worked at a large company and we operated in mixed mode;2000 and xp. they are jumping to vista next year(before i got laid off they said the were) but they should just wait for 7 and the complications will be few if you ask me.
most of the problem is with lazy IT. they just don't want to do it because it's to much like work.

Those who aren't ready to leave XP now won't be ready in 2011 ... people then will still ask for more time.

When Microsoft finally pulls the plug - which at this rate will be around 2040 - people will starting complaining then saying that it wass "too soon" and they "didn't have enough warning".

Yes. Just like DTV .

Actually you are wrong, I have been ready to leave XP, still waiting on a worthy upgrade to come from Redmond, win 7 looks very promising, will it live up to its hype?
I hope it does but I wont be holding my breath, I'm hanging onto my money this time around until some credible unbiased reviews come in after win 7 is released, obviously I wont be checking neowin for a review.

James Riske said,
Actually you are wrong, I have been ready to leave XP, still waiting on a worthy upgrade to come from Redmond, win 7 looks very promising, will it live up to its hype?
I hope it does but I wont be holding my breath, I'm hanging onto my money this time around until some credible unbiased reviews come in after win 7 is released, obviously I wont be checking neowin for a review.

I think you only show up to troll. Go away.

Peoll will yell if they didnt do this because they want support and people will yell if they did to it because they feel people should upgrade. People will just yell at anything.

And the DTV is still a mess with some stations not being picked up. I been picking up Digital stations just fine for over a year but now I cant get two stations after a rescan. Im not the only one who is missing the stations when I checked online.

ataris kid has a point... the DTV transition was broadcast to the public for almost 2 years. Yet people still didn't prepare for it. This isnt any different. Even for those who didnt get the windows 7 alpha from MS back in mid 2008, the beta has been out for the public since january you should have at least started testing your internal software then and i understand that a from january 09 to april '10 may not be enough time... wait yeah it is... besides xp is 8 years old... its time to move on...

Giving Business an extension, great idea. It is physically impossible for the company I work for to migrate 50,000+ machines in 6 months.

In the retail channel, let that 6 months expire after Win7's release.

At work I have to use XP, at home it's Vista 64bit and soon it'll be Win7 64bit.

I don't understand that though. If you have 50k machinces with XP already on them..then why does it matter if XP is discontinued on new machines? wouldn't that be the perfect time for a company to slowly migrate over to a new os when they purchase new systems? there's no way they are going to buy 50k machinces at once that's just insane, but if you do it 1k at a time then that's a much more managable rollout of a new os.

I wish it was that simple. Letting a machine lifecycle out would be far easier than trying to upgrade. But budget and economy concerns really come in to play more than you would imagine for a large corporation. I see it every day for the most mundane things. Getting Adobe Reader to a current version is a huge burden and that **** is free! When it comes to an OS, it'll be a few years to make sure internal sites are IE8 compatible and upgrading apps to be 64bit compatible... it's a long process. Letting Win7 in the house on a user who doesn't like change and fears change would be hell.

macrosslover said,
I don't understand that though. If you have 50k machinces with XP already on them..then why does it matter if XP is discontinued on new machines? wouldn't that be the perfect time for a company to slowly migrate over to a new os when they purchase new systems? there's no way they are going to buy 50k machinces at once that's just insane, but if you do it 1k at a time then that's a much more managable rollout of a new os.

The problem is that if these companies who have 50k+ PCs running XP buy 100 new PCs. They can't really have Vista or 7 running on the PCs because then they would have to support 2 separate environment (for patches and helpdesk support)

I'm in the same boat as Zeke. Testing of the 1000+ different applications we have to make sure they run on Win7 will take quite some time. Let alone the mention of re-adjusting all the Group Policies, some if not most SMS packages, giving the people a different environment to work with and arrange for training, etc...
This all takes longer than one would think. Hell, we're in the process of rolling out IE7 and you wouldn't believe the amount of users that call up the Helpdesk with questions on how to use Tabs, where to find this and that. You'd think they'd have it on their machines at home after all this time and would know how to use if by now.

FrozenEclipse said,
Won't last forever, thankfully.


Actual support won't stop until 2014, still has 5 years to go. I guess that's not forever.