Windows 7 RC and Windows XP to be available until 2010

With all this talk about the Windows 7 RC lately, we've seen a few questions asking, "So, how long will I actually be able to still use it, anyway?" Well, friends, your queries have been answered! Our buddies over at PCWorld are reporting that Microsoft has confirmed that the Windows 7 RC will be still active until June 1, 2010. This information was actually leaked about a month ago, but Thursday say the Redmond-based software giant confirm the news.

To add to the lengthy amount of time the RC will be available, it was also confirmed that, "the RC release will be available at least through June 2009 and we're not limiting the number of product keys, so you have plenty of time." Very good news for those using it, with no intent to purchase the full version for a while (after it's released, of course). How is this compared to Windows Vista RC2? Well, users were allowed to use that for 8 months since it was made available, so 13 months is a hefty boost in terms of the timeframe.

In other news, Windows XP is still going to be available on netbooks for one year after Windows 7 is released. As you can imagine, it'll only be available to vendors selling the netbooks, so don't expect to be able to waltz into a store and pick up a fresh copy of the almost-8-year-old OS. According to ComputerWorld, "Windows-based systems accounted for more than 90% of all netbook shipments from November through January, according to market research firm NPD Group Inc, [thanks to XP]."

Mike Nash, the corporate vice president of Microsoft's Windows product management group, said that, "It's been a long time since we've had a version of Windows that will actually run better [than the previous version] on the hardware that most customers have." Nash didn't mention when exactly 7 would be released when asked, so it's anyones guess how long XP will truly be available for, but good news none-the-less.

What's the general consensus from you guys here at Neowin? Does Microsoft just need to kill off XP, or will having it still available keep netbooks buyers (and vendors) happy? Additionally, what do you think about the Windows 7 RC being available 13 months from now? Fire away!

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