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Ballmer suggests they could keep XP alive

by on25 April 2008


If enough customers demand it

It looks like the first sign of possible back peddling on end of general sales of XP on June 30th has now started. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has now indicated they could reconsider the end-of-life for new XP licenses if enough customers and OEMs indicate that they want Microsoft to keep XP around.

However, he was quick to say that at least right now that has not been the case with OEMs, but business customers have been a bit slower in their adoption rate of Vista. The news came during a news conference with Ballmer in Belgium, but it really was not anything new beyond Microsoft saying that they are looking at the situation.

Of course, this news does come on the heels of Microsoft’s announcement that they are going to keep XP Home alive for the ultra-low cost PC segment of the market. While Microsoft continues to crow about the adoption rate of Vista, it is obvious that many users are opting to “downgrade” to Windows XP after a taste of Vista.

Several OEMs are already responding to large business requests to continue to make XP available to them and they are responding with announcements that XP licenses will be available to corporate customers on their business lines of desktops and laptops. We believe that since many users are in fact downgrading, is Microsoft counting these as Vista users or XP users, and could this be skewing the numbers a bit?

While Microsoft does have a plan to EOL Windows XP, it is obvious that it just might have one more gasp of air left before it will go down for the count. With recent announcements that Microsoft is planning to have the new Windows 7 available far ahead of the original schedule and with customers clinging to XP, it just might be that Microsoft sees additional benefit and money that can be made by keeping some customers happy.

We are predicting that Microsoft will extend the life on Windows XP Pro, maybe till the end of the year if we are lucky. After all, last quarter was not great for Microsoft and you have to make up that revenue somehow; and what better way than to continue to sell XP licenses?

Last modified on 25 April 2008
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